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Senator Introduces Online Privacy Bill

April 22, 2002|Reuters

Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) proposed a measure last week that would increase consumer privacy on the Internet, reviving a once-hot issue that has taken a back seat to security concerns since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Hollings hopes to require online businesses to get customer permission before disclosing sensitive information such as bank account details or sexual orientation. Less sensitive data, such as purchase or browsing records, could be shared with third parties unless the customer specifically said otherwise.

The legislation promises to revive a debate about how businesses use customer e-mail addresses, phone numbers, purchase records and other data collected through their Web sites.

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