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Another federal privacy bill introduced

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It's been a banner week for privacy legislation. On the heels of Tuesday's introduction of a US Senate privacy "bill of rights," US Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) unveiled prospective privacy legislation on Wednesday that would also require brands to tell customers what data they're tracking.

The “Consumer Privacy Protection Act” would also incentivize companies to follow self-regulatory privacy standards. If Stearns' name sounds familiar, he introduced wide-reaching privacy legislation during the last Congress with Rick Boucher, a former Democratic colleague.

Stearns' newest bill would also require marketers to notify consumers of changes in their privacy policies and give consumers the ability to opt out of the sale or disclosure of their personal information to third parties. The bill would also empower the Federal Trade Commission to approve a five-year self-regulatory program for brands.

Earlier this week, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011, which would also require additional transparency from companies about their use of consumer data.

US Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) also introduced privacy legislation in February. However, unlike the Kerry-McCain bill, it called for companies to develop a Do Not Track mechanism.

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