To Track or Not To Track




Ten years ago, there was no Facebook. Google had not emerged as the dominant email client, search engine and jack-of-all trades that it is today. Consumers in search of bargains still clipped coupons rather than waiting for the perfect Groupon deal. Despite this constant increase in online activity, however, Congress has consistently failed to pass legislation that would protect consumer privacy online. Bills were introduced as early as 2000 that would have implemented a comprehensive set of online privacy protections, but they did not become law.

This session, consumer protection online is on the legislative calendar yet again.2 The full universe of legislation includes bills addressing consumer privacy online, data breach notification/security, children’s privacy, amendments to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, geolocation privacy, and financial privacy.3 This Note evaluates4 two of the general privacy bills, the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights and the Do Not Track Online Act, and concludes that the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights will ultimately provide the best protection for consumers, while preserving the vibrancy and generativity of the Internet.

Author: Molly Jennings
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