BBC News reports on Web giants in the social networking and search spheres and the convenience they provide to users, suggesting privacy "is becoming the thorn in the side of this marriage of convenience." The feature examines recent calls by regulators from the EU and Canada, as well as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, for better privacy protections from online firms. Looking at regulators' responses to such issues as cookies and shadow profiles, the report suggests, "2012 could see a change in the balance of power between Net firms and citizens, with citizens, for once, holding the upper hand."
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