Boucher proposes online privacy bill

Congressman Rick Boucher (D) of Virginia's Ninth District has proposed an Internet privacy bill, which is co-sponsored with Cliff Stearns (R) of Florida. The bill has critics from both the business community and consumer advocates, which suggests it probably strikes the right balance as a place to start. I am constantly amazed at how casually people give up personal information like their birthdate, street address, and other information just to get some "free" service (e.g. Facebook). Not all companies abuse how they use that kind of information, but some do. One of the bill's primary requirements is to simply have firms explain better what they do with personal data. That seems like a good place to start.

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