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Privacy & Data

CDT Statement on the Introduction of the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011 by Senators Kerry and McCain

Washington — Today, the Center for Democracy & Technology released the following statement about the introduction of the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011 by Senators John Kerry and John McCain.  The Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act is the first comprehensive privacy bill to be introduced in the Senate in over ten years.  Last year, Congressman Bobby Rush introduced a comprehensive privacy bill entitled "The BEST PRACTICES Act" in the House of Representatives.  In March, the Obama administration called upon Congress to enact privacy legislation, marking the first time that a presidential administration had called for such a law.

"Senators Kerry and McCain have shown impressive leadership in putting forward a bipartisan bill to address the privacy concerns of the 21st century," said CDT President Leslie Harris.  "The bill contains many strong elements, and we look forward to working with the Senators and the members of the Commerce Committee to create an enduring, flexible privacy framework that protects consumers while encouraging companies to innovate."

CDT has long called for a privacy law that affords protections for all personal data, as opposed to the patchwork of sectoral laws that cover only a small portion of such data today.  The United States and Turkey are the only OECD countries that have failed to implement baseline privacy protections for consumer data.

"This is an important step toward the enactment of a comprehensive privacy law for this country," said CDT Consumer Privacy Project Director Justin Brookman.  "With the proliferation of tracking technologies in recent years, consumers need basic protections to allow them to see how their data is being used, and to give them control over their own information.  The Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act provides a solid foundation for the discussion of how to enact such protections over the months ahead."