Senators Kerry and McCain Propose Privacy Bill of Rights


Sens. John Kerry (D., Mass.) and John McCain (R., Ariz.) introduced proposed legislation Tuesday that would establish a “privacy bill of rights” to protect people from the increasingly invasive commercial data-collection industry.

The bill, known as the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011, would require companies to seek permission before sharing “sensitive” data with outsiders. It would also give people the right to see data collected about them or to stop their data from being shared.

The bipartisan proposal would create the nation’s first comprehensive privacy law. Current laws cover only the user of certain types of personal data such as financial and medical information. The measure largely adopts recommendations made last year by the Obama Administration.

“These companies can do virtually whatever they want with our personal information,” Sen. Kerry said. “Sen. McCain and I seek to change that.”

Write to Julia Angwin at

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