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    Los Angeles Times: Online ‘do not track’ bill introduced in California Senate

    The Los Angeles Times reports on a Do Not Track bill introduced in the California congress. Do Not Track proposals seeks to protect consumers privacy — to restrict collection of Web browsing habits by third parties for uses such as online targeted behavioral advertising by marketers.

    California is putting itself in position to lead the fight for increased online privacy by trying to pass the country’s first so-called do-not-track law to keep personal data from being grabbed off the Internet.

    Legislation by state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) would create a mechanism to allow users of smartphones, tablets, computers and any other device that accesses the Internet to tell website operators they don’t want their online habits monitored.

    As California did with do-not-call efforts to block telemarketers, he said, the state should be out front in blocking online tracking. […]

    Momentum is growing for do-not-track legislation, either as a stand-alone protection for consumers or part of more comprehensive privacy reform, privacy experts say. California’s bill signals that the final push might come from the states, not the federal government. […]

    Lowenthal said he believed a law could be enacted quicker in California because Democrats control the Legislature and the governor’s seat. Even so, he said, protection of Internet privacy is not a particularly partisan issue, because all lawmakers’ constituents are concerned about privacy for themselves and their children. […]

    Lowenthal’s bill would empower the state attorney general to issue regulations requiring a simple, user-friendly method that allows users to block programs that track online information, including addresses and names. Violations could be targeted with civil lawsuits filed by individuals and the state attorney general.

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