Bipartisan Data Privacy Legislation Passes Out of Committee
WASHINGTON — Bipartisan legislation to protect data that “identifies or is linked or reasonably linkable” to any one person passed in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in a 53-2 vote Wednesday.
“Today’s vote has been years in the making and is a major step forward in our bipartisan effort to establish national data privacy protections for all Americans,” committee leadership said in a joint statement.
The law, if enacted, would create privacy policies requiring companies collecting this type of identifiable data to disclose to customers where their data is going, how it will be used and what third-party companies would get it.
“The American Data Privacy and Protection Act puts people back in control of their online data. It creates a strong national standard that will finally minimize the amount of Americans’ information companies are allowed to collect, process and transfer,” committee leadership said. “This will rein in Big Tech’s power and establish clear, robust protections for people, especially children. Under our solution, companies will face real consequences if they track our kids’ data or use that information to exploit them for profit.”
People using applications and websites typically know their information is being used by the relevant company. However, they are often unaware that companies and applications can also sell that data for third-party use, privacy experts previously told The Well News.
This new law would require that third-party disclosures be more robust in privacy policies.
The legislation also gives the Federal Trade Commission oversight and the ability to make regulations for these third-party data companies.
The law also increases the protection of children’s data, including prohibiting targeted ads for anyone under 17. The Federal Trade Commission would also create a Youth Privacy and Marketing Division to enforce this part of the law.
The legislation introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., has bipartisan support from cosponsors Reps. Janice D. Schakowsky, D-Ill., Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Gus M. Bilirakis, R-Fla.
It also had large bipartisan support in the committee with 32 Democrats and 26 Republicans, where 53 members voted for it.
“We’re grateful to our colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their valuable contributions throughout the committee process and look forward to continuing to work together to bring this national standard for privacy to the House floor soon,” the committee’s leadership said.