Senate Commerce Slates Online Privacy Hearing

Scheduled for March 16
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The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing March
16 on consumer privacy online, which is a big issue with committee
Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.).

Rockefeller's office said that the hearing would "kick
off "the new Congress" deliberations on the issue.

The hearing will look at "commercial practices that
involve collecting, maintaining, using, and disseminating large amounts of
consumer information, some of it potentially very sensitive and private in
nature."

The Federal Trade Commission and the Commerce Department
have both released tentative reports calling for stronger online privacy
protections. Meanwhile, industry players are working on self-regulatory efforts
to give online surfers more control over their information.

It will be the second in what is billed as a series of
hearings on the issue. No word on witnesses.

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