Speier Unveils ‘Do-Not-Track’ Online Privacy Bill

Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Just a day after Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., rolled out his latest online privacy legislation, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., unveiled a package of bills Friday that includes a “do-not-track” requirement giving consumers the option to opt-out of being tracked while browsing online.

    One bill features the “do-not-track” option while a second bill would “give consumers control of their own financial information.”

    “These two bills send a clear message–privacy over profit,” Speier said in a statement. “Consumers have a right to determine what if any of their information is shared with big corporations and the federal government must have the authority and tools to enforce reasonable protections.”

    Speier said the “Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011” would require the Federal Trade Commission to develop standards for Web browsers. The “Financial Information Privacy Act of 2011” would prevent financial institutions from sharing or selling personal financial information without a consumer’s permission.

    “People have a right to surf the web without Big Brother watching their every move and announcing it to the world,” Speier said. “The internet marketplace has matured, and it is time for consumers’ protections to keep pace.”

    Speier touted the support of advocacy groups, including Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Action, U.S. PIRG, Consumer Watchdog, World Privacy Forum, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the ACLU.

    “Signing on to the Internet shouldn’t mean signing away your privacy,” said ACLU legislative counsel Christopher Calabrese in a statement. “Americans must have a mechanism in place to opt out of having their online habits tracked so that they can protect their most sensitive information.”

    Rush’s bill, announced Thursday, appears to not include a do-not-track feature, but would require user consent before information could be shared with a third party.

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