On February 10, 2011, Representative Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) re-introduced the BEST PRACTICES Act (H.R. 611), which aims to provide consumers with meaningful choices about the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information. As we reported last year, Rush initially introduced the BEST PRACTICES Act in July 2010. H.R. 611 contains no substantive changes to the original legislation (H.R. 5777), and does not include a Do Not Track mechanism.
In a press release issued today, Rush stated that he does not oppose Do Not Track, contending that “[i]n fact, in order for companies to qualify under the FTC Safe Harbor program contained in my bill, they would have to set up a ‘Do-Not-Track like’ mechanism for consumers to allow them to opt-out of having the personal information they provide, both online and offline, to third parties.” Rush further emphasized that the Act “would actually provide a sufficient mix of incentives for businesses not only to act in a more transparent manner with consumers but also to innovate and experiment with new business models, develop and provide products and services, including privacy protection tools and solutions, and to continue to offer relevant content and advertising to consumers who seek it.”
Representative Rick Boucher (D-VA), current head of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, lost his reelection bid yesterday to Republican Morgan Griffith, the Majority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates. Representative Boucher, widely recognized and respected for his legislative efforts in the areas of technology, telecommunications and privacy law, co-authored the CAN-SPAM Act and also introduced draft privacy legislation earlier this year. Congressman Boucher’s defeat leaves the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet panel without its top Democrat, and it is unclear who will fill that leadership vacancy. Continue reading…
Tags: Behavioral Advertising, Bobby Rush, Cliff Stearns, Congress, Connecticut, Enforcement, Federal Trade Commission, HITECH Act, Legislation, Marketing, Online Privacy, Richard Blumenthal, Rick Boucher, Senate, State Attorneys General, U.S. Federal Law, Virginia
On July 27, 2010, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) announced his intention to introduce an online privacy bill to regulate the collection and use of consumer data. “Our counterparts in the House have introduced legislation and I intend to work with Senator Pryor and others to do the same on this side with the goal of passing legislation early in the next Congress,” Kerry said in a prepared statement. Senator Kerry is the Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. He indicated that his bill would go beyond the regulation of targeted advertising. “Protecting the privacy of consumers online involves much more than the targeted advertising to which they are subjected,” Senator Kerry said. “Such advertising is just one result of the information that is routinely collected about us online.”
As we reported last week, Representative Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) introduced a bill regarding online data collection practices, which itself followed a similar bill proposed in May by Congressmen Boucher (D-VA) and Stearns (R-FL). Also on Tuesday, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz testified before the U.S. Senate about FTC efforts to protect consumer privacy.
Tags: Behavioral Advertising, Bobby Rush, Cliff Stearns, Consumer Protection, Enforcement, Federal Trade Commission, John Kerry, Jon Leibowitz, Legislation, Marketing, Online Privacy, Rick Boucher, U.S. Federal Law
On July 19, 2010, Representative Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) introduced a bill "to foster transparency about the commercial use of personal information" and "provide consumers with meaningful choice about the collection, use and disclosure of such information." The bill, cleverly nicknamed the "BEST PRACTICES Act", presumably intends to set the standards for the use of consumer personal information by marketers. A similar bill was introduced by Representatives Boucher and Stearns in early May. Although both proposals would require opt-out consent for online behavioral advertising and express, affirmative consent for the collection or sharing of sensitive information, Rush’s bill has a broader definition of "sensitive information" and includes several other key differences. Perhaps most notably, unlike the earlier draft legislation, Rush’s bill features a private right of action that would allow individuals to sue companies that violate the law for up to $1,000 in actual damages, plus punitive damages and costs and attorney’s fees. The bill contains a safe harbor from the private right of action for companies that participate in, and comply with, a self-regulatory "Choice Program" approved by the FTC. In addition, the bill excludes from its definition of "covered information" any information collected from or about an employee by an employer "that directly relates to the employee-employer relationship." A hearing on the proposed bill will be held on Thursday July 22, 2010.
Read the text of the bill.
Tags: Behavioral Advertising, Bobby Rush, Cliff Stearns, Congress, Enforcement, Federal Trade Commission, Legislation, Online Privacy, Rick Boucher, U.S. Federal Law, Workplace Privacy
July saw a flurry of activity involving data security breach notification laws.
- On July 1, breach notification laws in Alaska and South Carolina went into effect.
- On July 9, Missouri became the 45th state to enact a data breach notification law.
- On July 22, Senator Patrick Leahy reintroduced a comprehensive federal data security bill calling it one of his “highest legislative priorities.”
- On July 27, North Carolina amended its breach notification law to require notification of the state attorney general any time consumers are notified of a breach involving their personal information. The amendment also included content requirements for the attorney general’s notice.