Hearing Thursday on New Consumer Privacy Bill

Congressman Bobby Rush, the Chairman of the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has introduced a new consumer privacy bill that would regulate the collection and use of information in both the online and offline environment.   H.R. 5777, the "Building Effective Strategies to Promote Responsibility Accountability Choice Transparency Innovation Consumer Expectations and Safeguards Act" or the "BEST PRACTICES Act" was introduced yesterday and referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Thursday afternoon on the new Rush bill and a consumer privacy discussion draft released last spring by Congressmen Rick Boucher and Cliff Stearns, also members of the Energy and Commerce Committee.  The text of the new Rush bill and the Boucher/Stearns discussion draft is available here.

The Rush bill would require marketers to provide detailed notice disclosures to all consumers describing their information collection practices.  Opt-out consent would be required for the collection and use of "covered information" and express affirmative consent (opt-in) would be required before a company could share "covered information" with third parties.  Marketers would be required to provide consumers with access to the information that has been collected from or about them.  The bill directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to set up a mechanism for approving safe harbor self-regulatory programs referred to as a "Choice Program."  A company which participates in a "Choice Program" would be exempt from certain of the opt-in requirements and the access requirement.  The bill would create a private right of action for consumers, except for companies that are part of a "Choice Program." 

ANA provided comments on the Boucher/Stearns discussion draft, which are available here.

We would appreciate your input on the new Rush bill and will keep you informed about further developments on these issues. 
If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Dan Jaffe (djaffe@ana.net) or Keith Scarborough (kscarborough@ana.net) in ANA's Washington, DC office at (202) 296-1883.