Bill Aims to Protect Personal Info Online

Sen. Jay Rockefeller Says More Legislation on the Way
Bill Aims to Protect Personal Info Online
Legislation to provide consumers with the ability to better protect their personal information from being collected and used by online companies will be introduced next week by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

The Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011, according to Rockefeller, would:

  • Obligate online companies to honor consumer choice when consumers do not want anyone to collect information about their online activities.
  • Allow the Federal Trade Commission to pursue enforcement action against any company that does not honor this request by consumers.
  • Let companies collect only the information that is necessary for the website or online service to function and be effective if consumers ask not to be tracked, but then place a legal obligation on the online company to destroy or anonymize the information once it is no longer needed.

"Consumers have a right to know when and how their personal and sensitive information is being used online, and most importantly, to be able to say no thanks when companies seek to gather that information without their approval," Rockefeller said in a statement. "This bill will offer a simple, straightforward way for people to stop companies from tracking their every move on the Internet."

Rockefeller chairs the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which he said is also working on comprehensive legislation to increase cybersecurity following scores of high-profile hacking incidents against individuals, government and businesses.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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