Survey: Consumers want government to protect their privacy online

Two-thirds of consumers want the government to safeguard their privacy online and 81 percent want to add their names to a Do Not Track list, according to a May poll released Tuesday by Consumers Union.

The survey's release comes just one day before a Senate Commerce Committee hearing where lawmakers will hear testimony on three data privacy bills currently in front of the Senate.

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Ioana Rusu, regulatory counsel for Consumers Union, is among the scheduled witnesses and will share the poll results as part of her testimony. Others sending representatives to testify include the FTC, FCC, Sony, and HP.

“Although we live in an age of extensive sharing, very few people would agree that every piece of information they transmit should be available to everyone, for any conceivable purpose,” Rusu said.

“In fact, a May Consumer Reports poll found that over 80 percent of respondents were concerned that companies may be sharing their personal information with third parties without their permission.”

Rusu will applaud the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights introduced by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) while encouraging the Senators to include Chairman Jay Rockefeller's (D-W.Va.) Do Not Track legislation as part of any bill.

Rusu will emphasized the need for national data breach security and reporting standards. HP chief privacy officer Scott Taylor will also speak in favor of federal privacy legislation.

“HP recognizes that consumer trust is a precious commodity that must be protected through good stewardship and robust privacy programs," said Taylor in his prepared remarks.

"Federal legislation can establish a uniform national standard for organizational accountability and improved consumer protection. It’s a win for consumers and the industry as a whole.”

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