State Sen.Alan Lowenthal
(D-Long Beach) has introduced a bill that would create a mechanism to allow users of computers or any other device that accesses the Internet in California to inform web site operators they don't want their online habits monitored.
In these times of partisan bickering, Lowenthal sounds as if he has at least one Orange County Republican in his corner.
"I'm interested in this, and I think there may be some abuses in this area," Sen. Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) tells the Los Angeles Times. "California does have a track record of leading the way on privacy issues."
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Harman is a member of the Judiciary Committee that is scheduled to hold an initial hearing April 26 on the Lowenthal bill.
Lowenthal predicted his legislation will sail through the Legislature and governor's office because both are controlled by Democrats. But he added he would not be surprised if other Republicans besides Harman vote yea because Internet privacy is not a particularly partisan issue.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) has introduced similar no-tracking legislation in the House. It was born out of a Federal Trade Commission report urging the Internet industry to give consumers a means to keep personal information private.
Google, Facebook and other online marketing giants are expected to mount opposition. Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 already offer features to block online tracking.