State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett introduced the Social Networking Privacy Act to the state law in California. The bill received a lot of attention because it would have impacted not only social networks like Facebook, but it would have also impinge on any Web company that connected people to the Internet, such as Google, eHarmony, and Match.com.
The bill was defeated after being brought before the Senate 3 times. The final 2 votes both came in at 16-21. If the bill had passed, it would have required these companies like Google or Match.com to make their user settings private by default.
Internet Alliance, the leading advocacy organization of policy professionals representing the Internet industry in all 50 states, advises consumers, if would you like for these services to make their settings private by default let us know.
Internet companies dreaded the bill because they feared that users would quit the registration process, since it would take a long time to customize all their settings. According to Internet Alliance, Senator Corbett will probably revise and re-introduce her bill again.
Tammy Cota, who is the executive director for the Internet Alliance, told WebProNews that legislators often forget that these sites have a global reach involving hundreds of thousands of users. The bill would have required these businesses to pay $10,000 per incident of noncompliance, which could have run into a substantial amount of money given the large number of users.
Even though Corbett’s bill pertained to California, online privacy has been an issue in Washington as well with U.S. Senators McCain and Kerry’s Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011 and Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011. It is obvious that legislators feel there is a need to impose some sort of law regarding Internet privacy.
Should there be an online privacy bill? Should the Internet be regulated by our government?