On March 16, 2011, at a U.S. Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) announced his intention to introduce privacy legislation that would create “a common code of conduct that respects the rights of both the people sharing their information and legitimate organizations collecting and using it on fair terms and conditions.”  Kerry indicated that he had “reached out to our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, to privacy experts at firms, in academia, and in the advocacy community,” and asked for input into the process from witnesses at the hearing.

Although Draft 9 of the proposed legislation is in fairly broad circulation at this time, the bill is still very much a work in progress.  Consumer organizations, businesses and academics continue to make suggestions to improve the legislation, and to offer input on provisions that they believe may have unintended consequences.  We expect to see a new version of the legislation once those concerns have been addressed, and will post an update when the new draft is made publicly available.

Read our December 2010 blog post that detailed some of the key concepts to be covered in the legislation.