I know some are opposed to the privacy bill simply because of the the non-identifiable data being left untouched. It's small potatoes compared to the rest of the positive aspects of the bill. Please read Senate Bill 2201 (The Online Personal Privacy Act) and look at all the GOOD things. This is not a perfect bill, but its our last chance for a long time to get many of the things in the legislation. Here is the bill in .pdf http://www.epic.org/privacy/internet/s2201is.pdf Also, read EPIC's testimony before the senate in April praising the bill here http://www.epic.org/privacy/internet/s2201_testimony.html This is worthy of discussion. MAJOR legislation that will touch us all. Here is the latest: The Republicans have blocked the bill for now. It should be easy to get around all these business-friendly amendments and pass this bill. I am including at the end of this post, the latest article with all the latest moves in the senate regarding the bill.... John Luv2bsecure Lott Maneuver Delays Privacy Bill Say Dems By Dee Ann Divis UPI Science and Technology Editor From the Science & Technology Desk WASHINGTON, May 16 (UPI) -- After several Republican attempts to dilute or defer a pro-consumer privacy bill Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., invoked an arcane procedural rule to delay a final committee vote on the legislation, according to the bill's sponsor. "This was an underhanded way to try to defeat the online privacy bill," said Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., through a spokesman. Hollings is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, where the bill was being considered. Andy Davis, a Hollings spokesman, said Lott had made a call from the committee room to his floor staff directing them to invoke the little-used rule. The rule, which suspends committee action after the Senate is in session for two hours, pushed final consideration of the bill to Friday. Lott had suggested earlier in the hearing that consideration of the privacy bill take place after other, less contentious measures were addressed. The "two-hour" rule was later lifted to allow the same committee to hold a scheduled hearing on the Enron case -- but only after assurances that the vote on the bill would not be picked up again during the proceedings. "They lifted it only because they knew that the privacy bill wasn't going to be a part of (the Enron hearing)," said Davis. Calls to Lott's office requesting comment were not returned. The Online Personal Privacy Act would mandate that companies get permission from consumers before they can collect sensitive personal data such as financial information, social security numbers, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or political party affiliation. Non-sensitive data like what items were purchased could be shared without advance permission, but customers would still have the opportunity to "opt-out" of such exchanges. The bill, S. 2001, also requires that individuals be allowed "reasonable access" to information kept about them and the opportunity to correct items they believe are erroneous. The bill was originally focused only on ensuring the privacy of data gathered on the Internet. On Thursday, Hollings introduced an amendment that replaced the entire text and included a number of changes -- chief among those was an expansion of the provisions to include data gathered from sources other than the Web. Such information might come from sources like magazine subscriptions or grocery discount-buying cards. Hollings' amendment directs the Federal Trade Commission to draft rules to bring privacy practices for off-line data in line with those for online data though additional time would be allowed to draft the rules. Some companies and other opponents to the bill assert that a delay on finalizing rules for non-Web data means that Internet companies are being put at a disadvantage. Privacy proponents are concerned, however, that the effort to equalize the treatment of the different types of data immediately is actually a tactic meant to make the debate more complicated and thereby kill the bill. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., offered an amendment to suspended enforcement action under the bill until all the types of data were treated the same. The amendment, however, met with opposition. "I think (the) bill takes care of the problem but in a way that doesn't threaten our movement forward," said Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. Boxer was credited by Hollings with working out the compromise language giving the FTC time to draft new rules. Boxer and McCain got into a testy exchange over the issue when she asserted that two types of data were being treated the same but that it was better not to rush and use the same exact words for off-line data. "We want to make sure it's done right," said Boxer adding the compromise approach "doesn't stop us, as Sen. McCain's amendment would do, from beginning to protect people's privacy. " Boxer noted that many changes had been made to equalize the treatment of different types of data. "The advance was purely cosmetic," McCain said. The McCain amendment was defeated as were amendments offered by Sen. George Allen, R-Va., to deny individuals the right to sue over violations and to make the measures in the bill secondary to other privacy legislation. Some existing privacy laws may have less strict privacy provisions.