Privacy is a hot topic in Washington these days. You might remember that the FTC published “Self-regulatory Principles” for Online behavioral advertising practices in early 2009.
Now Congressman Rick Boucher, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, is circulating draft legislation that adopts many of the concepts of the self-regulatory principles, but broadens their scope far beyond behavioral targeting, to cover any and all collection of consumer data, both online and off.
This is a sweeping proposal and may push us closer to, or even eclipse, the European Union’s privacy regime. NRF and Shop.org submitted comments to Rep. Boucher and the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, Rep. Cliff Stearns. Shop.org is very concerned about restricting information collection and use, especially given the troubles retailers are already facing in this challenging economy. Hearings on the proposal are expected this summer, but no bill has been officially introduced yet. It is our understanding that Boucher will have a high volume of comments to read through on this initial proposal.
Shop.org will continue to closely monitor the progress of this bill and other privacy developments in Washington. As always, we welcome industry input and participation. One of the best ways is to be a part of Shop.org’s Policy Advisory Group.