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April 11, 2018

Senators introduce bill creating a ‘privacy bill of rights’

by John_A

At the same time Facebook’s CEO is facing questions from the Senate Judiciary & Commerce committees, two senators introduced legislation focused on protecting people from incidents like the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The Customer Online Notification for Stopping Edge-provider Network Transgressions (CONSENT) Act proposed by Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) requires “edge providers” (read: Facebook and Google) to obtain opt-in consent to “use, share, or sell users’ personal information,” tell users about data collection and how the info is used, and protect it with “reasonable” measures. The full act is readable here (PDF)

Enforcement of these rules would be up to the FTC. Senator Blumenthal said “Our privacy bill of rights is built on a simple philosophy that will return autonomy to consumers: affirmative informed consent. Consumers deserve the opportunity to opt in to services that might mine and sell their data – not to find out their personal information has been exploited years later.” According to Markey “Voluntary standards are not enough; we need rules on the books that all online companies abide by that protect Americans and ensure accountability.” While the two said they seek a bipartisan resolution, during Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony, some senators including Thom Tillis (R-NC) suggested that too much regulation could stifle competition.

We cannot rely on @Facebook to self-regulate.

Congress should immediately pass my CONSENT Act before more Americans’ personal information falls into the wrong hands. pic.twitter.com/JmJ24ZqrIR

— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) April 10, 2018

Source: CONSENT Act (PDF), Senator Ed Markey

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