Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) said he intends to introduce privacy legislation that would empower the Federal Trade Commission to oversee a five-year self-regulatory program.
In a recent speech, Stearns also said that consumers should have access to the information amassed about them online and be able to opt out of the data collection. “We might not be able to tell businesses they can’t stop collecting the information, but certainly we should be able to see that information. The consumer can decide whether it’s too much to be collected, and then decide whether to opt out,” he said.
Stearns said the bill he intends to introduce grows out of a draft floated last year by himself and former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.). That proposal drew comments from more than 70 organizations, which Stearns said were incorporated into the bill he will unveil.
The measure will join at least three other potential privacy bills in the House.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) recently introduced the Do Not Track Me Online Act, which calls on the FTC to issue regulations requiring that Web companies allow consumers to opt out of online tracking. In addition, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) reintroduced an online privacy bill that would require ad networks to obtain users’ consent to tracking. And Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) says that he, too, intends to online privacy legislation.
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