Congress Works with Tech Community on Online Privacy Reforms

January 7, 2014

Since its founding, eBay has been committed to building trust with its users by responsibly caring for their personal information. To do that, the company has created privacy policies built around transparency and user choice. eBay also recognizes the need for public/private partnerships and works with policymakers to create forward looking policies that address rapidly advancing technological innovation. In fact, several members of Congress deserve credit for their recent work with the tech community to address a broad spectrum of Internet privacy issues.

Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and his colleague in the House, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), recently introduced the Do Not Track Kids Act, which would prevent businesses from collecting personal and locational information from anyone under 13 without parental consent and require parental consent before sending targeted advertisements to children.  At a time when children are spending more and more time online, it is vital to ensure that their personal information is protected. eBay believes it is important to ensure that companies implement strict mechanisms for validating parental consent and to establish privacy principles for kids in a bill of rights.

The House Privacy Working Group, led by Co-Chairs Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), is also actively working with the tech community to develop a better understanding of the privacy issues facing Internet users. The working group should be commended for their recent efforts to solicit the views of concerned citizens and stakeholders on all sides of the debate. Since early October, the working group has been meeting regularly with stakeholders to address the numerous privacy concerns that have arisen with the growth of the online data industry. Because of the members’ commitment to dive into these complicated issues, Congress will be much better positioned to address these issues in the future.

eBay Inc. commends Sen. Markey and Reps. Barton, Blackburn, and Welch, for working with stakeholders to develop forward-looking privacy policies. eBay remains committed to working with government officials and policymakers to improve online privacy for its customers around the world.