California Lawmakers Considering Their Own Do-Not-Track Bill

Lora Bentley
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Top 10 Privacy Issues for 2011

Social media and location-based technologies top the list of concerns.

If California State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) has his way, the state will pass the first do-not-track legislation in the U.S. well before Congress gets around to it.


According to the Los Angeles Times, Lowenthal introduced a bill Wednesday much like that being championed in Congress by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.). It would create a system that would tell websites not to monitor the online activity of their users regardless of the device with which they choose to surf the Web. The bill would apply equally to computers, smartphones and tablets.


Speier's bill, introduced in February, would give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to create a federal do-not-track system. But the bill may face obstacles in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.


Lowenthal noted that a bill would not face similar opposition in California because Democrats control both the legislature and the governor's office. As such, the state bill is likely to become law more quickly than its federal counterpart.


The Interactive Advertising Bureau, whose membership would be negatively impacted by mandated do-not-track systems, is not all that excited about the prospects. General Counsel Mike Zaneis told the Times:

The states have been quiet in this area for a couple of years. Leave it to California to jump in.

It won't be the first time California has taken the lead on privacy issues.

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