A federal privacy bill introduced this week by Rep. Suzan DelBene, a Democrat from Washington state who previously worked for Microsoft, appears to be garnering support from business groups.
DelBene's “Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act” would require companies to obtain consumers' opt-in consent before sharing or selling “sensitive” data, and allow consumers to opt out of the collection and sharing or selling of non-sensitive data.
The bill's definition of “sensitive” includes people's web browsing history and app use, unless the data is aggregated. But the requirement that companies obtain opt-in consent before sharing or selling that data has some loopholes -- including one that applies when companies disclose how they plan to use the information.
The bill would override many state privacy laws, including broad measures in California and Virginia. But the measure wouldn't trump state laws dealing with biometric privacy, data-breach notifications and wiretapping.
DelBene's bill also wouldn't empower consumers to bring private lawsuits over violations.
She stated this week that a federal privacy law is needed in order to “establish a uniform set of rights for consumers and create one set of rules for businesses.”
The ad industry's Network Advertising Initiative, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation and others are expressing support.
“The NAI welcomes the Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act & applauds @RepDelBene for promoting a national privacy framework over a state-by-state approach,” the ad organization tweeted this week.
“The Information Transparency & Personal Data Control Act is a much-needed step in the right direction toward protecting the privacy of all Americans equally,” the Chamber of Commerce added in an open letter.
On Thursday, Amazon tweeted its thanks to DelBene “for advancing the discussion on federal privacy legislation and recognizing the importance of innovation.”
The bill is just one of numerous privacy proposals introduced in Congress in recent years. So far, none have gained traction.