Senators John Kerry, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., are introducing online privacy legislation this afternoon. They say the goal is to update outdated laws to protect Americans privacy online and offline.The Computer & Communications Industry Association recognizes the need for baseline privacy practices. The following statement can be attributed to Computer & Communications Industry Association President & CEO Ed Black:“Tech companies understand the loss of privacy — and even the threatened loss — can have a chilling effect on online activity. We anticipate this legislation will provide a baseline for privacy rules and will also support the privacy measures many tech companies are already implementing on their own. We also recognize that the important value of privacy may conflict with other values at times, and that legislation in this area needs to be carefully drawn.
“We are pleased to see this bill follows fair information practice principles and avoids technical mandates.
“Attention to privacy is important, especially when Internet users are pressured to share information with a government agency or lack the options of a competitive marketplace which might allow them to seek companies with the most favorable privacy practices. The lack of sufficient options in the area of Internet access provider is of particular concern. We hope a more competitive market can be encouraged as online access and services grow. Privacy practices should be one more area where companies compete for customers.”