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Highlights of Browser Act to Protect Privacy in U.S. House

Several members of the U.S. House of Representatives asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to support the Browser Act to protect user privacy during his House Energy and Commerce Committee testimony. We pulled up a copy of the bill online, called: Balancing the Rights Of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly (Browser) Act of 2017.

The descriptions says: “To require providers of broadband internet access service and edge services to clearly and conspicuously notify users of the privacy policies of such providers, to give users opt-in or opt-out approval rights with respect to the use of, disclosure of, and access to user information collected by such providers based on the level of sensitivity of such information, and for other purposes.

The proposed legislation was introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Transparency

With respect to privacy policies, it:

– requires a clear and conspicuous privacy policy that is persistently available.

– must be provided at the point of sale, subscription, or account establishment, or if the service does not have such a point, then before the user uses the service.

Consent

It provides for opt-in consent for sensitive user information and opt-out consent for non-sensitive user information. Non-sensitive information is everything not covered by the term sensitive user information. Sensitive user information includes:

– financial information;
– health information;
– information pertaining to children under the age of 13;
– social security number;
– precise geo-location information
– content of communications
– web browsing history, history of usage of a software program (including a mobile application), and the functional equivalents of either.

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Key Differences

Here are three key differences that we noticed between the Senate Consent Act (announced yesterday) and the House Browser Act (introduced in 2017)

– The Browser Act covers non-sensitive information, requiring companies to provide the ability of users to opt-out of it.

– The Consent Act requires reasonable data security precautions and breach notifications.

– The Browser Act preempts state laws on the privacy of user information.

More from Clarip:

Are you ready for the new CA privacy law? Start preparing compliance efforts with Clarip for the California Consumer Privacy Act. Enforcement starts January 1, 2020 so better start planning funding in your 2019 budget now.

Learn more about the GDPR consent management.

Other Blog Posts on Privacy Bills in the US House:

Internet Bill of Rights for Privacy
Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act
New Privacy Bills: APPS Act and DATA Act of 2018
Highlights of the Secure and Protect Americans’ Data Act in U.S. House
Highlights of Browser Act to Protect Privacy in U.S. House
BROWSER Act and Privacy Discussed in House Communications Subcommittee Hearing
Privacy Focus of Last Week’s DCCP Subcommittee Hearing on Digital Advertising
House Subcommittee Asks FTC Commissioners About Consumer Privacy
Do Not Track Kids Act Back in Congress

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