Kerry-McCain privacy bill would require tracking opt-outs

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Washington, D.C.—A federal online privacy bill introduced Tuesday by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., would, for the first time, require Internet advertisers to offer viewers “robust and clear” notice and opt-out mechanisms from being tracked for behaviorally targeted advertising purposes.

The Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011, if enacted, would also require advertisers to provide notification to Internet users that personally identifiable information was being collected and limit the collection of data to what is necessary for transactions or services. If companies sell the information to third parties, the bill would require contracts limiting its use.

The Direct Marketing Association criticized the bill. “DMA is wary of any legislation that upsets the information economy without a showing of actual harm to consumers,” said Linda Woolley, DMA's exec VP-Washington operations, in a statement.

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