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Klobuchar cosponsors bipartisan bill protecting consumer privacy

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar Wednesday cosponsored bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ) that would establish a framework to protect the personal electronic information of Americans. The Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act would require companies that collect personal information to implement security measures, provide clear notice of their collection practices, and collect only as much information as necessary to process or enforce the transaction or service. The legislation would also help U.S. businesses by providing clear and predictable guidelines.

"Consumers deserve to know what personal information is being collected, how it is being used, and that it will be protected," Klobuchar said. "Recently we have seen a number of instances where consumers' personal information has been compromised, and in order to maintain public trust we need clear standards in place to keep this information safe."

The bill would direct state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce its provisions. It would allow the FTC to approve nongovernmental organizations to oversee safe-harbor programs that allow commercial collectors of this information to design and customize procedures in order to comply with the bill's requirements. The Department of Commerce would be responsible for convening stakeholders for the development of applications for safe-harbor programs to be submitted to the FTC.

Klobuchar serves on the Senate Commerce Committee and has been a leader in online privacy. Last year she introduced a bill to prevent Peer-to-Peer file sharing programs from revealing users' personal information. Klobuchar also cosponsored a bill that was signed into law last December that stopped companies from engaging in overly aggressive sales practices online, including passing-on customers' personal information.