Two former U.S. presidential candidates from opposing political parties have proposed new laws to protect the privacy of people using the Internet in the United States.
Senators John Kerry and John McCain introduced a bill on Tuesday that would give U.S. Internet users the right to tell companies they do not want their personal information tracked, stored or shared with anyone else.
The legislation also would require companies to tell users what personal information they are collecting, why and how it is being used.
Currently, many private companies on the Internet, from search engines like Google to online retailers like Amazon, track the people who use their services and sometimes sell this information to others, often in order to create targeted marketing and advertising campaigns.
Senator McCain said the new laws would attempt to balance the need of businesses to make money through advertising, while protecting a consumer’s right to keep personal details, like their email address or social security number, private.
But privacy advocates say the proposed legislation does not do enough to protect people from invasions of their privacy. They say there should be a simple, single-step way to block any and all tracking, rather than having to opt out each time.