McCain, Kerry Back Online ‘Bill Of Rights’


McCain, Kerry back online 'bill of rights'Two former Presidential candidates have teamed up to champion legislation promoting consumer privacy on the Internet.

Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act 2011 on April 12 and revealed its provisions during a news conference in Washington, DC. The bill is designed to protect online users by forcing companies to explain how they gather consumer information and what they do with it, according to The Washington Post.

If approved by lawmakers, the bill would require online companies such as Facebook and Google to receive user consent before acquiring personal information, including names, email addresses and credit card numbers. McCain and Kerry said that they have taken into account some of the feedback they garnered from lobbyists from Microsoft and Yahoo, who have warned that government intrusion could stifle business growth.

"Consumers want to shop, browse and share information in an environment that is respectful of their personal information," said McCain, quoted by the media outlet. "Our legislation sets forth a framework for companies to create such an environment and allows businesses to continue to market and advertise to all consumers, including potential customers."

Some consumer groups have expressed their displeasure with the bill, saying that it should include a "do not track" mechanism, which is similar to the "do not call" option that blocks telemarketers from calling residents.

Furthermore, reports that the legislation contains a loophole for data collectors, which says that information can be retained "for a reasonable amount of time" if it used for "research and development" purposes.

Personal Liberty

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.