Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Do Not Track" Bill Would Restrict Collection, Use of Online Activity Data

This posting was written by Jeffrey May, Editor of CCH Trade Regulation Reporter.

The proposed "Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011" (H.R. 654) would give consumers the ability to prevent the collection and use of data on their online activities, according to the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jackie Speier (D, Calif.).

The measure would direct the FTC to prescribe, within 18 months after enactment, regulations concerning the collection and use of information obtained by tracking the Internet activity of an individual.

The proposal would not cover entities that store information on fewer than 15,000 individuals; collect information on fewer than 10,000 individuals during any 12-month period; or do not use information to study, monitor, or analyze the behavior of individuals as their primary business.

The do-not-track legislation was introduced on February 11, along with the proposed "Financial Information Privacy Act of 2011” (H.R. 653), which would amend the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to strengthen protections for nonpublic personal information provided by consumers to financial institutions.


A day earlier, Rep. Bobby Rush (D, Ill.) introduced the proposed "Building Effective Strategies To Promote Responsibility Accountability Choice Transparency Innovation Consumer Expectations and Safeguards Act" or the "BEST PRACTICES Act" (H.R. 611).

Similar to legislation introduced in the 111th Congress, the measure would require covered entities to provide notice to consumers of information collection practices. The FTC would have enforcement authority, under the proposal.

The bill also provides companies with a Safe Harbor program. In order to qualify, companies would have to set up a "Do-Not-Track" mechanism to allow consumers to opt-out of having the personal information that they provide made available to third parties, according to Rep. Rush.

No comments: