08/13/2012 05:34 pm ET Updated Oct 13, 2012

AppRights: A Mobile Privacy Initiative

Pointing to SOPA and CISPA as cautionary tales, Congressman launches open legislative project at

Last month, I launched, a web-based legislative project that will open a public conversation about how Congress can help ensure the privacy and security of mobile device users.

Amidst the growing clamor for federal action to safeguard consumers' privacy and security, my office will use the website to solicit ideas from the public and keep Americans in the loop as we explore how federal law could better protect app users' rights.

Congress has tried to shove Internet-related legislation down the public's throat, and we've failed. Widespread public outrage sank the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) in January and nearly defeated the "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act" (CISPA) in April.

AppRights is an open and transparent approach to the legislative process.

Although the AppRights initiative is focused on consumer privacy, rather than piracy or cybersecurity, I believe the groundswell of opposition to both SOPA and CISPA should caution lawmakers against a top-down approach to legislation affecting the Internet.

There's an emerging consensus that the law should protect Americans' rights when we share our data with apps and app developers. How that law should be written is a question for the American people. Let's have an open conversation about it.

The public is invited to join the discussion by submitting their ideas and concerns regarding mobile privacy at and to interact via Twitter (@AppRightsUS) and Facebook.