• On February 11, 2011, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Cal., introduced HR 654, the Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011, which calls upon the FTC to promulgate regulations requiring that covered entities – defined as companies engaged in interstate commerce that collect or store online data – allow consumers to opt out of online tracking. The bill also would require covered entities to provide reports to the government about how they collect data and with whom the data is shared. The bill would exempt stores with information on fewer than 15,000 customers, government agencies, and entities that collect data on fewer than 10,000 people over a one-year period. It establishes a maximum fine of $5 million for non-compliance. The Consumer Federation of America, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, World Privacy Forum, the Center for Digital Democracy and the ACLU already have voiced support for the bill.

A copy of the bill can be found here.

  • The FTC will host a forum on May 11, 2011, in Washington, DC to examine how the government, businesses, and consumer protection organizations can work together to prevent consumers from receiving unauthorized third-party charges on their phone bills — a practice known as “cramming.” The forum, which will be held at the FTC’s satellite building conference center, will be open to the public. Any persons interested in appearing on the panel must submit requests to the FTC no later than March 4, 2011. The FTC also invites interested parties to submit comments on cramming prevention through the FTC’s online comment form no later than April 27, 2011. The FTC’s Press Release on the Cramming Forum can be found here. Comments can be submitted to the FTC here.