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ISPLA ALERT-Somebody is watching you...Senate Hearing

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  • Peter Psarouthakis
    Somebody is watching you, somebody is tracking your every moment you are online, comparing the practice to a private investigator following your everywhere.
    Message 1 of 1 , May 11, 2012
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      "Somebody is watching you, somebody is tracking your every moment you are
      online, comparing the practice to a private investigator following your
      everywhere." - Senator John Kerry

      The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee heard testimony
      from the Federal Trade Commission and the Commerce Department on the
      guidelines both agencies have set down for privacy moving forward. The
      hearing was held to further discuss President Obama's proposed online
      Privacy Bill of Rights. The White House privacy bill of rights declares that
      consumers have the right to control the data that groups collect on them and
      the right of access to that data.

      In his opening statement, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), the committee
      chairman, said he was concerned that the models of self-regulation proposed
      by both agencies may not best serve the average consumer. "I believe
      consumers need strong legal protections. They need simple and
      easy-to-understand rules about how, what and when their information can be
      collected and used. They need easy-to-understand privacy policies rather
      than pages of incomprehensible legalese."

      FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz and newly appointed Commissioner Maureen
      Ohlhausen testified. She was once policy counsel for the Business Policy
      Software Alliance, an anti-piracy group. The Commerce Department's general
      counsel, Cameron Kerry, was also on the panel. He is the brother of Senator
      John Kerry (D-MA) who with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has sponsored privacy
      legislation to address similar issues. Senator Kerry, a member of the
      committee, suggested that his bipartisan bill with Senator McCain could
      serve as a starting point for developing standards.
      Cameron Kerry's testimony stems from the fact that the National
      Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department
      of Commerce is pushing discussions between various consumer groups to
      develop "industry specific codes of conduct for privacy."

      Members of the committee were not in agreement. Senator Kerry and Democrat
      members called for the implementation of the President's privacy framework.
      Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) did not see the need for privacy protections of
      any kind. He called for a cost-benefit analysis and stated for the
      government to ask companies to alter their business model was irresponsible.
      He doubted there had been actual consumer harm.
      Senator Rockefeller stated in a world where the "Internet has fundamentally
      transformed every aspect of our lives, unfettered collection of online data
      poses significant risks. He cautioned that self-regulation is "inherently
      one sided" and that "consumers' rights always seem to lose out to the
      industry's needs."

      FTC Chairman Leibowitz countered by stating that the Digital Advertising
      Alliance has made meaningful progress on the do-not-track and
      self-regulatory efforts but also stated "We have to make sure do-not-track
      is, with a few exceptions, do not collect."
      There appeared to be no consensus on what privacy legislation is needed to
      develop consumer privacy protections.

      Bruce Hulme

      ISPLA Director of Government Affairs

      <http://www.ispla.org/> www.ISPLA.org

      Your Proactive Voice from State Capitols to the Nation's Capitol

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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