Kerry, McCain introduce Net privacy bill

April 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 13 (UPI) -- Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., rivals on campaign trails, jointly announced a bipartisan bill that would protect Internet users' privacy.

The 2011 Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act, announced Tuesday, would require companies tracking Internet users to ensure they protect personal information, allow consumers to opt out of having their data collected and restrict the amount of information trackers collect, the two senators said in a release.

McCain and Kerry blistered each other on the presidential campaign trails in 2004 and 2008, first during Kerry's challenge to incumbent George W. Bush then in McCain's face-off with President Obama.

"John and I start with a bedrock belief that protecting Americans' personal, private information is vital to making the Information Age everything it should be," Kerry said in a release. "Americans have a right to decide how their information is collected, used, and distributed, and businesses deserve the certainty that comes with clear guidelines."

McCain said the legislation would allow businesses to market and advertise to Internet consumers, but it "does not allow for the collection and sharing of private data by businesses that have no relationship to the consumer for purposes other than advertising and marketing."

"Consumers want to shop, browse and share information in an environment that is respectful of their personal information," he said. "Our legislation sets forth a framework for companies to create such an environment ... ."

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