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H.R. 654 (112th): Do Not Track Me Online Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 11, 2011.

Do Not Track Me Online Act - Requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to promulgate regulations to establish standards for the required use of an online opt-out mechanism to allow a consumer to prohibit the collection or use of any covered information and to require a covered entity to respect the choice of such consumer to opt-out of such collection or use. Authorizes the FTC to exempt from such regulations certain commonly accepted commercial practices, including: (1) providing, operating, or improving a product or service used, requested, or authorized by an individual; (2) protecting or defending rights or property against security threats, fraud, theft, unauthorized transactions, or other illegal activities; and (3) preventing imminent danger to the personal safety of individuals.

Treats such regulations as regulations defining unfair and deceptive acts or practices affecting commerce prescribed under the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Defines "covered entity" as a person engaged in interstate commerce that collects or stores data containing covered information, excluding a government or any person that: (1) stores covered information from or about fewer than 15,000 individuals, (2) collects covered information from or about fewer than 10,000 individuals during any 12-month period, (3) does not collect or store sensitive information, and (4) does not use covered information to monitor or analyze the behavior of individuals as the person's primary business.

Defines "covered information" as any of the following that is transmitted online: (1) the online activity of the individual; (2) any unique or substantially unique identifier, such as a customer number or Internet protocol address; and (3) personal information. Excludes from such term: (1) specified information associated with an individual's status as an employee of an organization, or an individual's name when collected, stored, used, or disclosed in connection with such employment status; or (2) any information collected from or about an employee by an employer that directly relates to the employee-employer relationship.

Defines "sensitive information" as: (1) any information that is associated with covered information of an individual and relates directly to that individual's medical history, race, religious beliefs and affiliation, sexual orientation or sexual behavior, financial information (except when financial account information is provided by the individual and is used only to process an authorized credit or debit to the account), or geological information; or (2) an individual's unique biometric data or Social Security number.