Legislating A Limit To Web-Surf Tracking
So he drafted a bill, now gathering support in Albany, that would make it a crime — punishable by a fine to be determined — for certain Web companies to use personal information about consumers for advertising without their consent.
And because it would be extraordinarily difficult for the companies that collect such data to adhere to stricter rules for people in New York alone, these companies would probably have to adjust their rules everywhere, effectively turning the New York legislation into national law.
“Should these companies be able to sell or use what’s essentially private data without permission? The easy answer is absolutely not,” said the assemblyman who sponsored the bill, Richard L. Brodsky, a Democrat who has represented part of Westchester County since 1982.
It's easy to be snarky about how ill-informed politicians are about the Internet. Alaska Senator Ted Stevens will go to his grave famous as the guy who thinks the Internet is a "series of tubes." But politicians really don't know much of anything specific about much of anything anyway. It's really not their job to be experts about any particular thing. In a way, they will act as a perfect arbiters for the worries of the clueless on the Internet. They are clueless on the Internet. Hmmm. I guess they are experts, after all.