The president of the junta which was formed after the British Colony of Virginia overthrew its lawful government has asked the US congress to pass a “privacy bill of rights” to protect Americans from intrusive data gathering.
Apparently there is some concern over the pond that companies are using the world wide wibble to discover all they can about citizens and then use it to peddle advertising at them.
According to the Wall Street Journal, President Obama’s assistant secretary of commerce, Lawrence Strickling, is expected to call for the legislation at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee. He said that the President wants to see a law which follows the outlines of a report issued by the Commerce Department in December.
The administration wants any new rules to be enforceable and will look to expand the Federal Trade Commission’s authority.
The report said that companies should ask an individual’s permission to use personal data for a purpose other than for which it was collected.
For years few politicians have been interested in online tracking, something that could be down to the fact that the advertising lobby group often spends small fortunes to make sure candidates who sit on their hands over the issue get elected.
However it is lookings if things are moving away from them being able to do anything about it. The makers of the two most-popular Web browsers Microsoft and Mozilla have said they are incorporating do-not-track features in current or future products.
More than 30 online advertising companies are preparing to break with their industry and support a proposal for a single do-not-track tool.
Several legislative proposals on privacy have been circulated on Capitol Hill in recent weeks and there appears to be cross party support. John McCain and John Kerry have been distributing a draft bill that broadly deals with the Commerce recommendations.