Legislators seek to increase privacy for online consumers

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Bipartisanship support exists for new legislation that would increase privacy for consumers online. Representatives from both parties have voiced concern over companies that track information about consumers in order to tailor advertisement to them.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal last week, representatives in the House are currently drafting legislation to give consumers more control over information that is collected while they are surfing online.

Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have voiced support for such policies but there is debate in the industry as to whether users should be forced to opt-out of automated data collection, or opt-in to allow it. Internet companies reportedly prefer the opt-out approach, which would necessitate a user taking action to prevent collection. An opt-in approach would bar collection unless consumers specifically wanted to participate.

Some lawmakers voiced concern that such legislation could affect companies’ bottom-line, during a time when many have bit hit hard by the downturn in the economy.

To read the full Wall Street Journal article on legislation that would affect data collection, click here.

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