Nevada’s Senate leader has introduced internet privacy regulations for websites, mandating them to reveal the kind of personal information they obtain from the state.
After settling into the new office, Aaron Ford (D), the Senate majority leader for Las Vegas, pushed this mandate for websites.
Ford’s name has already been proposed for the position of attorney general in the coming year, being the Democratic candidate for the position.
The new bill offering internet privacy to consumers comes one month after Congress passed legislation that reverted privacy regulations. The new regulation on internet privacy comes in the wake of a new law signed by U.S. President Donald Trump, which allowed internet service providers to sell any type of consumer information related to their browsing habits.
The President’s law nullified Federal Communication Commission (or FCC) regulation, which was aimed at blocking broadband service providers from storing user internet history to make a profit, and the FCC law had not yet been implemented.
The congress delegation at Nevada was split, regarding the measures to be taken for blocking the FCC rule. Later, there was a spate of legislatures on the state level seeking to implement bills for internet privacy protection of users.
Aaron Ford introduced the emergency privacy laws requiring all commercial sites on the internet, such as Facebook, Google, etc. along with internet connection providers like Comcast, to inform people of the identification categories for which they collect information.
The Internet privacy bill for Nevada is among some 12 other states in the U.S. who have taken up similar stances regarding internet privacy measures. This was done after the defeat of the internet privacy laws proposed at federal levels.
According to Aaron Ford, the privacy laws of Nevada must take into account the fact that more and more people are conducting a lot of their activities online.
Hence, all commercial internet sites including social networking sites, along with internet service providers like Comcast, should inform users about the categories or type of personal information amassed, as part of internet privacy.
According to the Senate Bill, 538, all internet operators will need to give information about third party contractors, in case they stockpile data on users. The attorney general of the state could impose a fine or an injunction if it found that the internet service operators did not offer the proposed information, within a month of the warning.
In case they make use of the first or the last names of people in Nevada, their email address, their location or any other sensitive information, the internet privacy regulation will be applicable to all those who run their business sites in any part of the globe, whether it is a small restaurant in the state of Nevada or the giant Alibaba in China.
According to industry lobbyist Mike Eifert, the FTC (or Federal Trade Commission) has already made it mandatory that service providers on the internet must inform consumers regarding privacy rights.
Eifert said the requirements for offering notification should not include smaller businesses, such as rural telecom organizations. This is because they are not likely to sell consumers’ data, as much as the companies at the national level.
According to Eifert, the Nevada Telecom Association executive director, there are certainly many players who make use of consumer information for advertisements, infringing internet privacy.
But smaller internet service providers do not indulge in such activities.
Senator Ford’s Statement
Senator Ford claimed that for several generations, Nevada has always valued privacy of all kinds and there should be no change in the case of internet privacy as well.
The proposed bill will be a step that allows consumers to get fair notice regarding any personal information that is collected from them. It is important because people are conducting a major portion of their lives online these days and are entitled to internet privacy.
The proposed legislation goes a step more than internet privacy and seeks to address the differences between disclosure required from internet service providers and from larger internet companies.