Rep. Rush unveils privacy bill

An aide said Rush’s office has been in close contact with Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who is also working to craft comprehensive privacy legislation. Boucher’s draft proposal — released in June — required companies to get permission from users every time they wish to use their information in any way, such as targeted Web advertisements. Rush’s bill would require that customers “opt in” before companies are allowed to share that information.

Rush’s bill also includes a safe harbor program at the FTC for companies that wish to self-regulate. By voluntarily pledging to follow the new privacy policy, companies would no longer need to obtain user consent to share information. The aide said such programs already exist in the private sector “but we feel that safe harbor program that FTC would design would have to be robust.”