The BROWSER Act

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The BROWSER Act is a proposed US legislative bill proposed by Senator Marsha Blackburn. It's not about web browses as the name implies. The bill is broad and it would require every Internet service as well as software interacting with the Internet to get consent before collecting "sensitive" personal data. It also requires a easy way to opt-out of collection of non-sensitive data. The legislation is in some ways similar to European the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

US Congress hearings on The BROWSER Act July 22th, 2019[edit | edit source]

Consumer Protection and Industry Requirements in The BROWSER act[edit | edit source]

The BROWSER act was first introduced in 2017. It has been re-introduced several times since. The bill requires everyone collecting personal data to get consent to use, disclose or access "sensitive" information. This includes financial information, health-related information, social security number, geo-location information, contents of communications, web browser history and historic information about the use of software and any and all information pertaining to children under 13.

The bill also requires a way to opt-out of collection of other kinds of "non-sensitive" information.

The bill has faced near-universal opposition by Internet-related industries since it's introduction. The advertisement industry has been specially vocal in opposing the bill. The EU GDPR legislation has largely killed personalized advertisement in that region outside of large closed platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The BROWSER act would have a similar effect on the US market. The advertisement industry in the EU did not die with the introduction of the GDPR and contextualized advertisement would still be possible (No personal information or other information about you is required to guess that people reading about the BROWSER act on a site named Linux Reviews are probably more tech savvy than most people).

Links[edit | edit source]


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