On March 4, 2011, Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) announced plans to introduce new online privacy legislation. The proposed bill is based on legislation Stearns drafted in 2005, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, which was not reported out of committee. While speaking at a Technology Policy Institute event, “Online Privacy After the DOC and FTC Reports,” Stearns stressed that this new legislation would seek to balance “privacy with innovation,” protecting the interests of both businesses and their online customers.

According to Stearns, “[t]he goal of the legislation is to empower consumers to make their own privacy choices.” The proposed law would require that entities “provide consumers in clear and easy to understand language what information is being collected and how the information is being used.” As we previously reported, Stearns, along with former Congressman Rick Boucher (D-VA), introduced a bill last year aimed at protecting personal privacy.