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Web Companies Seek New Federal Privacy Law for Internet Ads

Posted Jul 9, 2008 2:53 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Existing privacy laws concerning Internet advertising are in good shape, a Federal Trade Commission official said in a hearing today before the Senate Commerce Committee, and any gaps can be filled by industry self-regulation.

But big Internet companies are seeking a uniform federal law to replace a patchwork of state laws, reports the Wall Street Journal (reg. req.).

"Our key takeaway would be the need for a baseline federal privacy statute, based on fair information practices that have been around for 20 years," said Jane Horvath, senior privacy counsel for Google.

Senators appeared uncertain, however, whether legislation is needed, the Journal reports.

Committee chair Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) says more hearings are planned, and expressed particular interest in hearing from Internet service providers about the issue, reports Broadcasting & Cable.

Related coverage:

Associated Press: "Congress studies how people track your online use"

SouthCoast Today (Massachusetts): "Industry balks at new Internet privacy legislation"

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