Microsoft, Intel and eBay (sort of) support online privacy

Microsoft, Intel and eBay have voiced their tentative support for an online privacy bill crafted by Congressman Bobby L. Rush.

However, the three industry heavyweights also called for the removal of a key provision that would allow consumers to take legal action against companies.

Unsurprisingly, the trio believes the controversial stipulation would create “unnecessary litigation costs and uncertainty for businesses” without “a corresponding benefit to consumer privacy.”

Nevertheless, the corporations emphasized their support for the “bill’s overall framework,” while commending it for striking an “appropriate balance by providing businesses with the opportunity to enter into a robust self-regulatory choice program.”

As Sara Jerome of The Hill notes, Rush’s pending legislation is expected to “rein in” how companies approach online consumer data collection. 

To be sure, the Best Practices Act would require companies to disclose what is done with user data and direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create uniform standards for such disclosures. 

The Act would also create an “opt-in” list for consumers willing to share their online data with third parties.

For his part, Congressman Rush welcomed Silicon Valley’s support and reiterated that the legislation would do little to interupt the flow of international commerce.

“Despite their differing business models, eBay, Intel, Microsoft and other content providers must be free to execute business plans that will generate sufficient revenue in exchange for providing ‘free’ content and services,” Rush said in an official statement.

“[So], I am glad that these companies view the legislation my staff and I worked so hard to produce as a major step in the right direction.”