Rush reintroduces privacy bill

The bill appears to be similar to the legislation he offered in the last Congress that would allow for the collection and use of information from consumers but require firms to provide consumers with the ability to opt out from such collection.

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Thursday reintroduced his legislation from the last Congress aimed at enhancing consumer privacy online.

The bill appears to be similar to the legislation he offered in the last Congress that would allow for the collection and use of information from consumers but require firms to provide consumers with the ability to opt out from such collection.

It does not appear to mandate a do-not-track mechanisn that would give consumers an easy way to opt out of having their Web activities tracked for advertising purposes. The Federal Trade Commission endorsed such a proposal in its staff privacy report released in December and Rush, a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, had been weighing adding such a provision to the bill.

The measure would require consent from consumers before sharing information with third parties. Although like last year's bill, it also would provide firms the option of obtaining a safe harbor from some of the bill's provisions if they adhere to a self-regulatory program approved by the FTC.

Jeff Chester with the Center for Digital Democracy said the self regulatory program approved by the FTC could include a requirement that firms allow consumers to opt out of being tracked on the Web for advertising purposes. He said such a provision would not go as far as he and other privacy advocates would like but is a first step toward providing some type of a do not track option.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., is expected to introduce legislation on Friday that would require the FTC to implement some sort of do-not-track requirement giving consumers the ability to opt-out of being tracked on the Web.