Senate Bill Introduced Today To Protect Internet Privacy
Bill Is Important First Step, Says ACLU
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (202) 675-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON – A bill was introduced today in the Senate that would begin to create a framework for safeguarding consumers’ personal information online. Introduced by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ), the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011 is an important first step toward protecting Americans’ online privacy.
Today’s bill would require entities that collect information from more than 5,000 people annually, including most online companies, to provide privacy protections to their users. It would also give more consumers the power to opt out of some data collection and access information collected about them, and force companies to delete or no longer use consumers’ information once they sever their relationship with the company.
“For too long, Americans have been inadequately protected by piecemeal privacy laws containing broad gaps and loopholes. Technology has quickly outpaced our current protections, and we lack a resilient and rigorous framework for our online information and activities,” said Christopher Calabrese, American Civil Liberties Union Legislative Counsel.
Despite significant positive provisions, today’s bill would also still allow significant data collection and sharing between companies. It unfortunately does not include a “do not track” mechanism, which would allow consumers to opt out of having their online activity tracked, stored and shared with private companies for targeted advertising use. Currently, corporations can track individuals around the web, through social media and other sites. That information can be used to create detailed profiles about Americans’ complete online activities and can be sold to advertisers, employers or the even government.
The bill also contains an overbroad preemption provision which would hinder the ability of states to enact more protective legislation.
The ACLU commended Senators Kerry and McCain for introducing the bill and encouraged Congress to seek even stronger Internet privacy protections.
“While we believe that any final online privacy legislation needs to do more to limit information collection and sharing, including authorizing a ‘do not track’ mechanism, this bill is a positive first step in enacting comprehensive legislation because it begins give consumers control over their own personal information,” said Calabrese.
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
The Latest in National Security
ACLU Acknowledges Improvements to DOJ Racial Profiling Policy, But Says Far More is Needed
ACLU Applauds Court For Allowing Case Challenging FBI’s Wrongful Prosecution of Chinese American Physics Professor To Move Forward
Shen v. Simpson
Chinese Immigrants Sue Florida Over Unconstitutional and Discriminatory Law Banning Them From Buying Land
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
Learn More About National Security
The ACLU’s National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights.