Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) reintroduced three bills to strengthen data privacy protections and safeguard Americans’ personal information. The U.S. currently has no comprehensive data privacy laws and with the rise of AI and other technologies, consumers are vulnerable to fraud, security breaches, and predatory behavior online.
“Big technology companies are collecting massive amounts of Americans’ personal information, from social security numbers to health care data. It’s clear we need stronger privacy laws to make sure this information isn’t shared or sold without consumers’ permission,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “My bills will hold corporations and foreign actors accountable, protect the data privacy of vulnerable consumers, and ensure that our emerging AI and other innovative technology industries grow responsibly.”
The DATA Privacy Act strengthens protections for American consumers online while ensuring large corporations implement data security and privacy protections. Specifically, the bill would:
- Empower consumers by allowing themto request, dispute the accuracy, and transfer or delete their data without retribution.
- Ensure accountability and oversight by providing new authorities to state Attorneys General and the Federal Trade Commission allowing them to levy civil penalties for violations.
- Protect consumer data
- Reasonable: Must be for a legitimate business or operational purpose that is contextual and does not subject an individual to unreasonable privacy risk.
- Equitable: Data must not be used in a discriminatory way, such as targeting job opportunities based on race or age.
- Forthright: Businesses cannot engage in deceptive data practices.
- Require businesses to provide users with an easily-accessible opt-out method for personal data collection or sharing. It would also require companies collecting large amounts of personal data to follow data protection standards and to appoint a Privacy Protection Officer.
The bipartisan Promoting Digital Privacy Technologies Act with Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) would require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support research into privacy enhancing technologies (PET), which help protect personal consumer data. The bill also requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to work with academic, public, and private sectors to establish standards for the integration of PET into business and government.
The Internet App ID Act would improve Americans’ digital security by requiring operators of internet websites and mobile applications to disclose if the applications being used by consumers have been developed or store data within China, or are under the control of the Chinese Communist Party. ###