Congress discusses privacy bill
Three of the top four congressional negotiators working on privacy have released a bill that would require companies to collect the least amount of data necessary to provide a service, end advertising targeting of children under 16, and impose restrictions. annual civil rights evaluations of algorithms. used by larger companies.
in addition, the draft would allow users to opt out of targeted advertising and allow individuals to pursue certain prohibited data uses. Although it would also override many state privacy provisions, the bill would significantly increase the power of the Federal Trade Commission to make rules in certain areas of privacy.
The text, known as the US Privacy and Data Protection Act, represents a bipartisan, bicameral agreement after years of stalled data protection talks. It also outlines compromises on issues, such as lawsuits, that had stalled lawmakers even as industry, consumer groups and political leaders pushed Congress to act.
Despite the existing bipartisan agreement, the proposal still faces significant hurdles to become law this year. Foremost among them: He did not sign Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee and is the most powerful lawmaker in the process. Although Cantwell would aim to hold a hearing on the privacy legislation in the coming weeks, she dismissed the draft on Friday as doing too little to ensure the companies “act in the best interest of consumers”, according to the Washington Post.
Congress is also trying to tackle major burning issues such as guns and abortion, while advancing tech antitrust legislation. Lawmakers are also racing against time, hoping to complete much of that work in the dwindling number of days left before the unofficial midterm campaign kicks off in August and the election itself in November.
Also, while some tech industry groups welcomed the progress, they also hinted they hoped for further concessions. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the most powerful business lobby, said earlier this week it would use its firepower to oppose legislation providing “a broad private right of action” allowing consumers to sue.
“In the coming weeks, we will work with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to build support and finalize this standard to give Americans more control over their personal data,” said a statement from Representatives Frank Pallone and Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Senator Roger Wicker. Pallone chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, while McMorris Rodgers is its top Republican member. Wicker is the top-ranked Republican on the Senate commerce panel.
The proposed bill would also provide consumers with the right to access, correct, delete and move their data, and opt out of its transfer to third parties – capabilities that have become increasingly common under international law or national laws on the protection of privacy. It would also impose stricter transparency requirements on companies, although some critics say such notices induce more consumer fatigue than they allow them to make choices.
The bill includes a long list of provisions – such as those on data minimization and the processing of teenage information – that could change the way tech giants as well as data brokers, smaller companies in the industry and physical businesses that use data and algorithms, whether public or B2B.
The measure, for example, would designate categories of sensitive data to receive increased protections, including health, financial, location and biometrics information. The sensitive category would also include “information revealing” race, religion, union membership, and sexual orientation, among other classifications that sometimes emerge not only from users’ direct statements about themselves, but also from a simple analysis of their centers of interest, personal addresses, travel motives and more.
In addition to civil rights assessments for big business algorithms, the draft prohibits uses of data that discriminate “on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability”.
The text would also require companies to obtain express consent to collect and use most biometric and genetic information, and ban most manipulations of revenge pornography. It would also require reasonable security practices and require CEOs of large corporations to certify that their companies have procedures in place to comply with the law, which could potentially put them personally at risk.