Washington – Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain
(R-Ariz.) on Tuesday introduced the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of
2011, which they say will establish a baseline code of conduct for how
personally identifiable information is used, stored and distributed online.
"Americans have a right to decide how their information is collected,
used, and distributed and businesses deserve the certainty that comes with
clear guidelines," said Sen. Kerry.
"Our bill makes fair information
practices the rules of the road, gives Americans the assurance that their
personal information is secure, and allows our information driven economy to
continue to thrive in today’s global market."
The bill provides consumers
with notice of data collection and opt-out capabilities, while requiring
companies collecting information to provide adequate security and set
constraints on distribution.
Under the proposed legislation, State Attorneys
General and the Federal Trade Commission would be empowered to enforce the
A number of consumer privacy advocacy groups has criticized
the bill as not going far enough, especially for its lack of a "universal
opt-out" for tracking.
"Consumers need strong baseline safeguards to
protect them from the sophisticated data profiling and targeting practices that
are now rampant online and with mobile devices. We cannot support the bill at
this time," reads a letter sent to the Senators from Consumer Watchdog,
the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and
(Sen. Kerry statement)
(Consumer groups’ statement)