Fred Upton will head the U.S. House Energy and Commerce committee, home to a privacy bill.
Michigan Rep. Fred Upton has been chosen to head the U.S. House Energy and Commerce committee, home to a privacy bill introduced earlier this year. The race for the chairmanship was an especially contentious one, as four candidates including the current top Republican on the committee - Rep. Joe Barton of Texas - vied for the seat. Upton sits on the commerce subcommittee where the privacy bill was introduced.
The committee is home not only to pending legislation covering privacy issues related to online advertising, but to lawmakers with a keen interest in online behavioral advertising and related online privacy issues such as do-not-track. A bill introduced in a subcommittee in July by Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois could be altered to include language mandating the Federal Trade Commission's call for a do-not-track mechanism.
Upton was named yesterday by the House Republican Steering Committee, beating out Barton, the committee's current ranking member, as well as Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois and Florida Rep. Cliff Stearns. Stearns is the co-sponsor of a draft privacy bill floated this year but never formally introduced.
The lobbying arm of the online ad industry's most prominent trade group, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, donated $1,500 to Upton's re-election campaign in September.
Rush's privacy legislation was introduced in the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. That subcommittee was chaired by Upton from 2001 to 2006 and he currently is a member.
Upton's chairmanship is still subject to a vote by all House Republicans. His candidacy was fought by conservative small government group Freedom Works, which built DownWithUpton.com to oppose his chairmanship candidacy, and generate petition signups.
While much legislator interest in online advertising and data privacy has originated in the commerce committee, it is unclear how much attention the committee will pay privacy issues during the next congressional session. But with mainstream media coverage of a proposed do-not-track mechanism and Facebook privacy fueling heightened consumer interest around online privacy, the Rush bill could still have momentum.
Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco (August 10-12)!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda offers 9 tracks to cover every aspect of digital marketing. Join over 500 digital marketers and expert speakers from leading brands. Register today!
Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.
E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.