A new federal privacy proposal would require companies to obtain consumers' explicit consent before collecting “sensitive” data, including information about people's precise locations and biometric data.
The Digital Accountability and Transparency to Advance (DATA) Privacy Act, unveiled Thursday by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada), would also require businesses to obtain consumers' opt-in consent before disclosing data “outside the context” of their relationship. The proposed bill also allows consumers to opt out of having their data used at all.
Another provision would prohibit companies from using data for discriminatory targeted advertising, or for “price, service, or employment opportunity discrimination.”
The proposal is one of several privacy measures currently before Congress. Last month, Senator Rubio (R-Florida) proposed a law that would empower the Federal Trade Commission to craft recommendations governing digital data.
Last year, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) unveiled a draft of a bill creating a national “do not track” regime that would give consumers the right to prevent information about them from being shared or sold by ad-tech companies.
Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, is also expected to unveil a proposal this year.
The new proposals come as tech companies and the ad industry are urging lawmakers to pass a federal privacy bill that would override state laws, including California's sweeping new privacy bill.
Privacy advocates are also calling for new laws -- but want Congress to allow states to maintain their own stronger measures.