May 232017
 
 May 23, 2017  Laws

David Bender writes:

Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has introduced a bill, the “Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly Act of 2017” (“BROWSER Act, ” H.R. 2520) that would  create new online privacy requirements.  The BROWSER Act would require both ISPs and edge providers (essentially any service provided over the Internet) to provide users with notice of their privacy policies, obtain opt-in consent for sensitive data, and opt-out consent for non-sensitive data.  In its current form, the BROWSER Act would define sensitive data more broadly than in existing FTC guidelines—mirroring the since-repealed privacy rules that the FCC adopted last year for ISPs, but applying those standards to ISPs and edge providers alike.

Read more on Covington & Burling Inside Privacy.

  One Response to “New Republican Privacy Bill Would Expand Scope of “Sensitive” Data”

  1. If Representative Blackburn really cared about the privacy of her constituents more than the profits of Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, etc., she would have introduced this bill BEFORE she introduced the bill which undid the privacy protections FTC recently provided. If Congress really cared about the privacy of the general public, they would have introduced or passed a bill much like this one BEFORE GOOGLE, Facebook, etc had built their entire businesses around violating the provisions of this bill.

    She has to run for re-election next year and realized that her constituents hate the fact that she introduced the “ISPs can spy on their paying customers with impunity act.” She’s now trying to undo the damage she did to her credibility by impersonating a privacy advocate. But she’s still clinging to the lie that ISP’s should follow the same privacy rules as the people and companies that the public communicates with over the internet. That makes
    as much sense as saying your phone company should be able to record all your phone conversations and analyze what was said so they can increase their profits by selling their conclusions about you to telemarketers, insurance companies, credit bureaus, etc.

    She knows that this bill has no chance of passing in any form which doesn’t allow edge service companies to follow the same rules they follow now (basically anything they can hide in their privacy policies goes).

    She also knows that her Senate counterpart isn’t up for election for 6 years
    and can afford to ignore the issue unless he gets pressure from the Republican senators who are up for election next year.

    If this bill makes it out of Congress, the only thing left in it will be the part stopping the states from enacting their own privacy legislation.

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