Senator Submits Online Privacy Bill

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Senator submits online privacy billSenator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) has proposed a bill that aims to protect citizens’ online privacy rights.

The Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011 would require companies to refrain from collecting information about users who request not to be tracked. In addition, the bill states that web-based businesses would be able to obtain user information in order to provide a service, but they would have to anonymize or delete it as soon as the service has been completed, Reuters reported.

Rockefeller’s proposal, which was introduced on May 9, is not the first online privacy bill to be submitted by members of Congress. According to the media outlet, laws that are designed to protect consumer privacy on the Internet have been proposed by Representatives Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) as well as Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.).

Nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog has praised the recent efforts made by lawmakers. According to a poll conducted by the organization, approximately 90 percent of Americans approve of legislation that protects their online privacy, with 80 percent favoring a “do not track” mechanism.

“We cannot be stalked as we shop in brick-and-mortar stores,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. “Yet whatever we do online is tracked, usually without our knowledge and consent.”

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