Jul 202010
 July 20, 2010  Posted by  Business, Laws, U.S.

Declan McCullagh writes:

American businesses weren’t very happy about a privacy bill that Rep. Rick Boucher announced in May. The Interactive Advertising Bureau, for instance, said the Virginia Democrat’s draft legislation would have “major” effects on legitimate business practices.

Well, if they disliked the Boucher bill, they’re really going to loathe a new Democratic proposal that would slap even more extensive regulations on virtually any U.S. business.

A bill introduced Monday by Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush, chairman of a House consumer subcommittee, would levy fines of up to $5 million on businesses and individuals unless they abide by a complex set of new regulations to be administrated by the Federal Trade Commission. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m. PT.

Rush’s bill applies to any “person” or business that stores personal information, including someone’s name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone or tax number. That person must provide, if requested, “access to” information stored about others.

There is an exemption for small businesses, but not if they hold 15,000 or more names, e-mail addresses, or other personal information in their records. The language appears to be broad enough to apply to local retailers, small businessman like plumbers and carpenters, and even individuals who have a sufficient quantity of e-mail addresses on their PCs.

Read more on cnet.

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