The government may consider setting up a mediation service allowing internet users who believe their privacy has been breached to have the information taken offline by internet service providers (ISPs).
Ed Vaizey, minister for communication, culture and the creative industries, said during a Commons debate on the internet and privacy that citizens need a trusted organisation to turn to as internet privacy grows in importance.
"It is certainly worth the government brokering a conversation with the internet industry about setting up a mediation service for consumers who have legitimate concerns that their privacy has been breached," he said.
"I am sure that many internet companies will say that that is almost impossible, but [we] want at least to attempt to give consumers some opportunity to have a dialogue with internet companies."
However, a spokesperson for the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) said that such a service would create additional work for ISPs, and questioned how it could would work in reality.
"ISPA is concerned about the potential for any additional burden on ISPs, and questions how a mediation service would work with content hosted outside the UK, " the spokesperson said.
"UK ISPs already use a system of notice and takedown which means that, when an ISP is notified of illegal content hosted on its network or server, this content is removed expeditiously."
The spokesperson added that the ISPA plans to talk to the government about the work ISPs are already doing around this issue.
Vaizey's comments came as ministers debated various facets of internet privacy last Thursday, including Google's capture of Wi-Fi data via its Street View service and the role of the Information Commissioner's Office in the case.
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