– A number of consumer and privacy advocates are criticizing new draft
legislation intended to address online privacy as not going far enough to
protect consumers. Introduced by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), chairman of the
House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, and ranking
member Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), the bill’s draft language intends to increase
privacy protections for consumers by compelling companies to disclose data
collection policies, and seeks to regulate ad networks and other data collecting
"Our legislation confers privacy rights on individuals,
informing them of the personal information that is collected and shared about
them and giving them greater control over the collection, use and sharing of
that information," said Boucher.
However, groups including the Electronic
Frontier Foundation (EFF), Consumer Action, and Center for Democracy and
Technology criticized the draft legislation as not protective enough of
"It still largely depends on the opting in and out
regime where notice and consent is kind of at the center of privacy practices,"
Leslie Harris, executive director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, told
Wired.com. "At least from CDT’s perspective, notice and consent has not
"Please explain to me why a marketer would need your
information for 18 months?" Michelle DeMooy, senior associate for national
priorities at Consumer Action, asked during a call with reporters, referring to
the bill’s allowance for marketers to hold consumer data for 18 months before
being required to delete it.