WASHINGTON – A California Democrat has introduced an online privacy measure that would allow Web users to opt-out of having their online behavior monitored by advertisers.
HR 654, The Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011, would empower the Federal Trade Commission to write regulations ensuring that online marketing agencies refrain from tracking users who wish not to be tracked.
“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,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA).
“Failure to do so,” read a summary from Speier’s office, “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.”
Speier also introduced HR 653, the Financial Information Privacy Act of 2011, which would afford consumers greater control over personal financial information that is often collected by banks.
She called the two bills examples of upholding “privacy over profit.”
According to Speier, the bills have been endorsed by the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Action, U.S. PIRG, Consumer Watchdog, World Privacy Forum, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the ACLU.
Speier referenced a recent USA Today poll which found last week that roughly 70 percent of Facebook users and over half of Google users say they’re either “somewhat” or “very concerned” about their privacy.