Following up on Wednesday’s Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) indicated yesterday that the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade will also hold hearings on online privacy matters later this spring. The Subcommittee, which she chairs, will look at the state of current privacy laws, transparency in privacy policies, and protections for children online.
Her statement is further evidence that Congress is continuing to take an active interest in privacy issues, as we previously noted. Here is a roundup of additional recent developments:
- Shortly after Rep. Bono Mack’s statement was issued, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) noted that he is currently drafting privacy legislation and looks forward to working with Chairwoman Bono on the issue of online privacy.
- On March 10, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) sent a letter questioning whether the activities of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s newly formed Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law would overlap with the consumer privacy work already being done by the Commerce Committee. The letter noted that members of the Commerce Committee “have made consumer privacy issues a priority” and that several have announced plans to introduce comprehensive privacy legislation.
- On February 24, in response to media reports that Google collected partial Social Security numbers of children who participated in the Doodle 4 Google art contest, Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX), Co-Chairmen of the House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, stated that they planned “to convene a Caucus hearing to discuss industry practices as they relate to online privacy.”