Data Privacy Gains Ground

FRAMINGHAM (07/27/2000) - The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed an amendment to an appropriations bill that would force federal agencies to show how they collect personal data from the Internet.

The amendment, proposed by Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), calls for federal agencies to advise visitors to federal Web sites that their personal data is being collected and demonstrate how it's done.

"If the federal government is collecting [information] about our personal habits, we have a right to know about it so we can stop any inappropriate invasion of privacy," Inslee said.

House lawmakers tacked the amendment onto a Treasury Department appropriations bill in a voice vote July 21. They approved the main bill in a 216-202 vote the next day. The Senate is now debating the bill.

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