I’m just a bill, yes I am only a bill

A new privacy bill was unveiled yesterday.  I answered my husband’s, who is not originally from the US,  questions about bills and laws with my rendition of  Schoolhouse Rock “I’m just a bill.”  I still can remember that song as well as the definition of a noun, the functions of conjunctions and the  preamble of the Constitution.  Thank you Schoolhouse Rock. 

Yesterday, Senator Kerry and Senator McCain introduced a Privacy Bill.  I skimmed it quickly last night.  I did not specifically see language about children and the internet.   The bill did focus on gathering information through websites and selling the information to third parties. 

It calls for an easy way to “opt out”  in order to limit who can collect your personal information.  The bill wants companies to limit the amount and storage of personal information.  Also,  the definition of personal information is quite broad.  Considering how easily information from across the internet can be brought together, it makes sense that personal information should move beyond just names and addresses. 

In past years, privacy bills have been submitted  and have gotten nowhere.  So far, Microsoft, ebay, Intel and HP have come out in support of the bill.  No statement yet from Facebook or Google.  Some privacy advocates had hoped for a “Do not Track Me”  list much like the “Do not Call” list.   I will be interested to see if this bill gains traction.   I will continue to follow the bill through the legislative process — singing all the way.

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