Two Republican senators on Wednesday introduced a privacy bill that would override state data-protection laws, other than ones requiring notifications of data breaches.
The “Setting an American Framework to Ensure Data Access, Transparency, and Accountability Act,” introduced Wednesday by Senators Roger Wicker (Mississippi) and Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), is similar to a bill of the same name introduced last year, and first floated two years ago.
The bill would require companies to allow consumers to access, edit, delete and port data about themselves. The measure would also require companies to obtain consumers' affirmative consent before processing or transferring their “sensitive” information -- which would include financial account numbers, persistent identifiers, precise geolocation data, and data revealing people's race, ethnic origin, religion and sexual orientation.
The proposed law would also require companies to allow people to opt out of the collection, processing or transfer of any data that identifies or is “reasonably linkable” to an individual or device. That mandate wouldn't apply to data that has been de-identified, providing the companies promise to avoid re-identifying the information.
A data-minimization provision would prohibit companies from collecting, processing or transferring data beyond what is needed to provide or improve a product or service, or communicate about a product or service.
The new bill comes two weeks after Wicker, Blackburn and Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) and Gus Bilirakis (R-Florida) urged President Joe Biden to push for a national privacy law that would effectively nullify state laws.
“We urge you to prioritize comprehensive data privacy legislation as part of your Administration’s agenda,” the lawmakers said in a July 16 letter to Biden.
The lawmakers added that privacy legislation should “establish one national data protection standard, rather than a patchwork of state laws, to provide consumers across the country with the same strong protections over their personal information no matter where they live.”