‘Do Not Track Me Online’ Bill Introduced

Filed as News on February 15, 2011 2:33 am

U.S. Representative Jackie Speier has introduced the Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011, prohibiting online marketers and analytics companies from collecting individuals’ online habits.

The bill is seen as the online version of the “Do Not Call” law that prevented telemarketers from calling people who requested not to receive calls.

The Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011 would direct the Federal Trade Commission to develop standards for a “Do Not Track” mechanism that would allow individuals to choose upfront to opt out of the collection, use or sale of their online activities, and require covered entities to respect the consumer’s choice. Failure to do so would be considered an unfair or deceptive act punishable by law. The covered entity would have to disclose its collection and sharing practices, including with whom the information is shared. The bill would allow the FTC to exempt commonly accepted commercial practices like the collection of information for billing purposes.

“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,” the Democrat from California said.

The bill is being introduced at a time when the USA Today released its survey findings revealing that 70% of Facebook members and 52% of Google users are “somewhat” or “very concerned” about their privacy online.

What we would want to see develop here in case this becomes a law in the U.S. is for other countries to follow as well.

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