US Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

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A new Internet consumer bill of rights was introduced in the US Senate on Tuesday. The bill was prepared by two senators: John Kerry and John McCain. The bill is aimed at protecting Internet privacy and securing Internet consumers’ personal data. According to this bill, companies will be obliged to inform customers about their methods for collecting their private information, the possibilities of it being made available for third parties and their emergent changes in privacy policies.

The bill will not guarantee web anonymity to online consumers, but at least it will be a step towards it. The present version of the bill is not ideal and there are some important points that should be included in it to make it better. For example, Rotenberg says that it is necessary to close loopholes that companies could use and allow  the Federal Trade Commission to investigate cases of privacy violations.

The bill appeared several weeks after the Obama administration had given its approval to a consumer privacy bill of rights. The assistant secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, Lawrence Strickling, claimed that "the Administration urges the Congress to enact a ‘consumer privacy bill of rights’ to provide baseline consumer data privacy protections."

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