Sens. Kerry, McCain unveil privacy bill to protect online consumers

A new bill has been introduced by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and  John McCain (R-Ariz.) to ensure consumers can maintain their online and offline privacy.

The goal of the new Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011, S. 325, which has been circulation in draft for a number of weeks, develops a framework to protect U.S. consumer's online and offline privacy.

Some of the bill's provisions include an opt-out/opt-in option for web user's information in addition to opt-out information that's used in behavioral targeted marketing and opt-in for revealing "sensitive" personal information or privacy policy changes.

Set to create enforceable voluntary privacy codes of conduct, The Commerce Department believes the rules should be structured with a Bill of Rights approach. This bill of rights would include three main provisions: "security and accountability," the right to "notice and participation' and rights to "data minimization, constraints on distribution, and data integrity.

While the bill is certainly a positive step, a group representing privacy advocates including the Consumer Watchdog, the Center for Digital Democracy, and Consumer Action, said they won't get behind the bill until it's "significantly strengthened."

For more:
- Multichannel News has this article

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Big names on list for Senate's online privacy hearing

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