Privacy advocates panned the bill during a conference call this afternoon, suggesting its lack of opt-out requirements maintain the status quo. “This bill really adopts and endorses an archaic, bankrupt notice and consent regimen that we know does not work,” said a representative of ConsumerWatchdog.org.
“While the discussion has started on this privacy issue because of this bill, I can’t really say very much good about it,” John Simpson from Consumer Watchdog later said on the call. “This bill really adopts and endorses an archaic, bankrupt notice-and-consent regime that we all know does not work.”
Consumer watchdog groups say a draft congressional bill falls short of its proclaimed intention of protecting the privacy of consumers using the Internet. During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, the groups said they would push for changes to the bill.
The quest for comprehensive, federal privacy legislation has been on many a lawmakers’ wish list for years, and two House members took the next step this week with the release of draft legislation that would require opt-in access to sensitive online data, an expectation of privacy regarding third-party apps, and easily accessible privacy practices. Consumer groups, however, said the bill does not do enough and criticized provisions that would prevent stronger state laws or individual lawsuits.
With behavioural targeting and privacy becoming hot internet issues, a coalition of consumer and privacy advocacy groups is taking their fight for online rights to Capitol Hill. The sizeable coalition – its members are Consumer Action, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Watchdog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Privacy Lives, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Privacy Times, US Public Interest Research Group and the World Privacy Forum – says industry self-regulation has not provided meaningful consumer protection and legislation is needed.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Warning that “tracking and targeting of consumers online have reached alarming levels,” a coalition of 11 consumer and privacy advocacy organizations today sent a letter to Congress outlining the protections any online privacy legislation must include.