A proposed privacy bill unveiled Friday would require companies to obtain people's opt-in consent before collecting or sharing their personal information.
The Privacy Bill of Rights Act, introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), would also prohibit companies from using data in ways that discriminate based on factors like race, religion and gender. The measure would also ban companies from collecting data for one purpose, but then using it for a different purpose.
“America’s laws have failed to keep pace with the unprecedented use of consumers’ data,” Markey stated Friday. He added that his bill “puts discriminatory data uses out of bounds and tells companies that they can only collect the information that is necessary to provide the product or service requested by the consumer.”
The proposal is the third major piece of potential legislation relating to the use of data unveiled this week. On Wednesday, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act, which would require companies to study whether their algorithms pose risks to privacy, as well as whether they may result in inaccurate, unfair or discriminatory decisions.
Also this week, Sens. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) introduced the Deceptive Experiences To Online Users Reduction (DETOUR) Act, which aims to prevent companies from duping people into consenting to data collection.
Markey's proposal would task the Federal Trade Commission with crafting regulations and policing companies' compliance. The bill would additionally allow consumers to bring private lawsuits against violators.
Markey's bill doesn't yet have co-sponsors in the Senate. But digital rights groups Free Press and Public Knowledge are supporting the potential bill.