Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today introduced the Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2013, which would give consumers the ability to control their personal information and allow them to prevent online companies from collecting and using that information for profit.
"Online companies are collecting massive amounts of information, often without consumers' knowledge or consent," said Rockefeller. "Consumers should be empowered to make their own decision about whether their information can be tracked and used online. Industry stood at the White House and made a public pledge to honor do-not-track requests, but has since failed to live up to that commitment. My bill gives consumers the opportunity to simply say "no thank you' to anyone and everyone collecting their online information. Period."
Under Chairman Rockefeller, the Senate Commerce Committee has looked at the increasing collection and sale of consumer data and what it means for consumers. Rockefeller originally introduced the Do-Not-Track Online Act in 2011 to provide Americans with the ability to opt out of having their online activities tracked by Internet companies. The bill would preserve the ability of online companies to conduct their business and continue to deliver content and services to consumers.
The Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2013 would:
Create a universal legal obligation for all online companies to honor consumer choice when consumers do not want anyone to collect information about their online activities;
Allow the Federal Trade Commission to pursue enforcement action against any company that does not honor this request by consumers;
If consumers ask not to be tracked, allow companies to collect only the information that is necessary for the website or online service to function and be effective, but then place a legal obligation on the online company to destroy or anonymize the information once it is no longer needed.