Boucher’s Plans for Privacy Legislation
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) has preliminarily outlined legislation he will introduce to regulate consumer privacy in a thoughtful editorial in The Hill entitled “Behavioral ads: The need for privacy protection.” In a separate interview related to net neutrality, he stated that he hoped the bi-partisan legislation would be introduced before Congress adjourns on October 30.
In the article, Boucher clearly articulates the issues related to how behavioral advertising impacts consumer privacy and he makes a reasonable argument for ways to give consumers assurances about what data is being collected about them without disrupting the online advertising and e-commerce ecosystem. Particularly encouraging is his recognition of the fact that behavioral targeting tailors ads to consumers’ interests and helps keep Internet content free.
From the article it sounds like Boucher “gets it,” but there were plenty of details left unstated and the lobbying efforts of industry associations and companies with a stake in the outcome will no-doubt continue up until the deadline. It will be interesting to read the finer points of the legislation and it looks like a bill may now be just weeks away.