The Washington Post reports that Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas) “said privacy would be a priority for the next Congress.” Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) lost his reelection campaign on Tuesday, and it is uncertain what will happen to privacy legislation that he proposed. In May, Boucher and Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-Florida) — who are Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce — released a discussion draft of a new privacy bill.
Barton, the potential new chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce committee, said recent data breaches show the need for more privacy protections for Internet users. “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,” Barton said in a release on how third-party developers shared Facebook user information. […]
Barton, ranking member of the Energy and Commerce committee, is a co-chairman of the committee’s privacy caucus. He shares the seat with Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who also expressed his support for greater federal oversight of Internet privacy.