US Lawmakers Ink Deal on Data Privacy

Mon Apr 08 2024
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WASHINGTON: Two key US lawmakers on Sunday said they have signed a deal on draft bipartisan data privacy legislation that would limit consumer data, that technology firms can collect and give Americans the power to stop selling personal information or force its deletion.

The agreement between Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, chairperson of the Commerce Committee, and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would give individuals control over use of their personal data and information.

Congress has been discussing online privacy protections since 2019 amid concerns about use of data by social media firms including Meta’s Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and ByteDance-owned TikTok, but have been unable to finalize the agreement.

The lawmakers in a joint statement said the initiative gives the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general broad power to oversee consumer privacy issues and setup fast enforcement mechanisms to punish the violators.

The statement added the draft legislation is the best opportunity the US had in decades to setup a national security standard that gives people the right to control their personal information.

The step would help people to opt out of data processing if a technology company changes its privacy policy. It requires consent from the consumers before sensitive data can be transferred to a third party.

Consumers could file a lawsuit against those violate their privacy rights — and claim money for the damages.

The bill would need yearly reviews of algorithms to ensure they do not put individuals, at risk of harm.


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