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    National Journal: Congress, Businesses at Odds Over Online Privacy

    The National Journal reports on a congressional hearing on Tuesday that highlighted the gap between some members of Congress and businesses over online privacy:

    Lawmakers and business representatives clashed on Tuesday over whether the government needs to take a more active approach to protecting consumers’ online privacy, even as the White House moves forward with a plan for an online bill of rights on privacy.

    The core differences over the issue were highlighted on Tuesday, as the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet examined how mobile devices and other new technology are changing the privacy landscape. […]

    The Obama administration has asked lawmakers to develop privacy legislation, but prospects for any bill appear slim. […]

    At Tuesday’s hearing, [subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.] argued that the speed of innovation highlights how any measure to protect consumers needs to ensure that “innovation is encouraged and not stifled by undue regulatory burdens.”

    No one at the hearing disagreed with that argument, but representatives of eBay and the Association for Competitive Technology, which represents app developers, signaled that new rules are needed to provide companies and consumers with more regulatory certainty.

    Any government rules should apply to the way that information is used, not to the technology that collects data, ACT Executive Director Morgan Reed told the panel. […]

    Chris Babel, CEO of TRUSTe, which certifies website privacy, testified that privacy protection should focus on companies’ self-regulatory efforts. […]

    But several lawmakers, including Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., were skeptical of self-regulation.

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