‘Do Not Track Me’ Laws Seek To Protect Consumer Privacy Online

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Privacy advocates are backing legislation that requires Internet companies doing business in California to provide consumers with a mechanism to prevent their online activities and information from being monitored. The state bill (SB 671), the so-called “Do Not Track Me” law, would allow people to opt out of the “collection, use, and storage” of personal data by any firm.

    Consumer Watchdog, a backer of the bill, has challenged Google to support such privacy protection. Google recently agreed to a comprehensive privacy plan and independent auditing as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over the company’s mishandling of its Buzz social network.

    The California legislation is modeled on the federal Do Not Track Me Online Act sponsored by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.). That bill would “direct the Federal Trade Commission to prescribe regulations regarding the collection and use of information obtained by tracking the Internet activity of an individual.” In introducing the law, Speier cited the recent Wall Street Journal investigation which exposed the extent to which companies track, aggregate and sell consumer data.

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