Do Not Track Bill Introduced,
The 112th Congress’ privacy legislation derby is expected to have plenty of contestants, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) has reintroduced his “Best Practices Act,” while Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Sen,. John Kerry (D-MA) are each expected to offer bills soon. Stearns recently indicated that his bill will be modeled after a 2005 proposal that required companies to disclose at the first instance of collection of personal information the information collected, how it is used and give users the option to control its use.
The opening salvo over this Congress’ battle over privacy, however, was made by a junior member who had been very active on Internet issues when part of the legislature in Sacramento. Rep. Jackie Speier’s “Do Not Track Me Online Act” would direct the FTC to issue regulations within 18 months of passage that establish “standards for the required use of an online opt-out mechanism to allow a consumer to effectively and easily prohibit the collection or use of any covered information and to require a covered entity to respect the choice of such consumer to opt-out of such collection or use.”
Each of the major browsers are preparing to launch their do not track capability, with Internet Explorer (the largest of the browsers in terms of market share) offering a feature whereby users can upload lists of sites to block. Some fear that this could easily be used by groups to promote censorship or black lists.
Within the industry, the IAB is calling on their members to publicly affirm their support and adherence to the self regulatory guidelines, so that failure to abide by these standards could create liability for deceptive practices under the FTC Act.
Listen to the podcast of Cyber Law and Business Report’s discussion with the ACLU and Tech Freedom about Do Not Track.
House Financial Services to Tackle Online Gambling Again
New Financial Services Committee Chair Tom Campbell plans to reintroduce legislation repealing the ban on online gambling that Democratic Chairman Barney Frank had pushed last year. The switch to a Republican Congress may not help prospects of the legislation since it was social conservatives within the Republican Party that pushed and still support the ban.
Sen Schumer Calls on US Websites to Lead on Security
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) decried the fact that today WiFi networks provide “hackers, identity thieves and spammers alike with a smorgasbord of opportunities to steal private user information” because major websites have been slow to move towards the more secure https protoc
ol. “With the privilege of serving millions of U.S. citizens, providers of major websites have a responsibility to protect individuals who use their sites and submit private information.”
This will be a topic on the next Cyber Law and Business Report.
Schumer also may want to urge users to use their brain when selecting passwords. A Wall Street Journal review of passwords for hacked Gawker accounts found that the top two passwords were (drumroll) . . . 123456 and password.