Online data collection
The practice of collecting, profiling and selling personal information gathered from Internet users is very common. Consumer profile lists are often one of the most valued assets of a retailing or marketing firm. Google and Facebook have been criticized for compiling detailed profiles of their users. Often, firms use “learning algorithms” to determine which ad to display on someone’s computer screen, or to predict one’s buying habits. These formulas can be used to create a digital picture of a viewer to infer race, gender or sexual orientation. Critics claim this technology has “the potential to eclipse longstanding civil rights protections in how personal information is used in housing, credit, employment, health, education and the marketplace.” They say algorithm data can also be used to discriminate and to make judgments, right or wrong, about who is likely to show up at work, pay their mortgage on time, or require expensive medical treatment. Using collected information to target ads, Wal Mart is said to be using algorithms to determine whether a woman is pregnant without her divulging that information. Data collectors claim they provide a beneficial service and that collecting consumer data is protected by our First Amendment. Advocates believe that collecting data about our online behavior in an invasion of our right to privacy. They believe that only consumers should decide whether their profiles are collected, personalized or sold.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.1053 - To establish a regulatory framework for the comprehensive protection of personal data for individuals under the aegis of the Federal Trade Commission, to amend the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 to improve provisions relating to collection, use, and disclosure of personal information of children, and for other purposes

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Poll Opening Date
May 21, 2020
Poll Closing Date
May 27, 2020

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