Online Privacy Could Be Priority for New Legislators

Lora Bentley
Slide Show

Check out highlights from Lora's poll of industry experts on the topic of online security.

Before Tuesday, Republicans said if they gained control in Washington, they would make repealing the financial overhaul legislation a priority. After Tuesday, when it became clear Republicans would control the House of Representatives but not the Senate, presumed Speaker-elect John Boehner promised to do his best to dismantle health care reform. But what do the election results mean for privacy legislation?


In a piece published at last week, Judith Harris, Christopher Cwalina and Amy Mushahwar, attorneys in the Washington, D.C., office of Reed Smith laid out what they think the outlook will be for online privacy legislation now that Republicans have increased their number.


They explained:

A Republican-led House is less likely to show enthusiasm for privacy measures that could stifle business innovation, but if they do address this issue, the Republicans are likely to show a preference for the one that is less regulatory.

Thus the Boucher-Stearns bill would be more likely to prevail, despite the fact that Rick Boucher, D-Va., lost his seat, because the legislation championed by Bobby Rush, D-Ill., gives more power to the Federal Trade Commission.


At the same time, according to The Washington Post, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, has declared Internet privacy will be his priority during the next Congress. In a statement, Barton said:

I want the Internet economy to prosper, but it can't unless the people's right to privacy means more than a right to hear excuses after the damage is done.

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