Stuart Brotman – Via TheHill.com
The Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly Act, or the Browser Act, has been dormant in Congress since it was introduced last spring. Its most salutary provisions deal with online privacy policies, including a requirement under federal law that users be provided with “clear and conspicuous notice” of the consumer data privacy policies of a communications or technology company, an ability for users to opt in for the collection of sensitive information, and a prohibition on companies denying service to anyone who refuses to waive privacy rights.
The thorniest of these mandates in the Browser Act is the first one, since “clear and conspicuous” is too ambiguous a term. For companies, their main interest is to protect themselves from legal liability, hence the seemingly endless pages of dense text aimed at supporting a claim of a liability waiver if the matter was brought to court. They cannot be faulted for protecting their business interests by having detailed legal language presented before their users accept the terms and conditions.