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Privacy Hearing Gets Contentious in Senate

ONLINE PRIVACY—U.S.

April 25, 2013

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) had blunt words for the online advertising industry at a hearing on Do-Not-Track (DNT) legislation yesterday, MediaPost reports. “There’s a broad feeling that the advertisers and data brokers are just dragging their feet,” he said, adding, “And I believe they’re doing it purposely.” In his call for DNT legislation, Rockefeller said he doesn’t believe “companies with business models based on the collection and monetization of personal information will voluntarily stop those practices if it negatively impacts their profit margins.” Digital Advertising Alliance Managing Director Lou Mastria said the previous DNT agreement was “short-circuited” by recent privacy decisions by at least two browser-makers. In a column for Wired, W3C Co-Chair Peter Swire, CIPP/US, warned of a looming “digital arms race” that could have damaging effects for everyone involved. The solution? “The same way we defuse any other arms race,” Swire wrote, “through negotiation.”
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