Proposed Privacy Bill Draws Support From Coalition Of House Democrats

A group of House Democrats threw its support to the proposed bipartisan American Data Privacy and Protection Act, a federal privacy bill that would broadly curb companies' ability to collect and use online data.

“For the first time in our nation’s history, this legislation will create a comprehensive national privacy law and put people back in control of their personal information by limiting data collection and algorithmic harms, strengthening protections for children’s data, and prohibiting discrimination based on personal data,” the New Democrat Coalition stated this week.

The New Democrat Coalition, a group made up of 99 House Democrats, is chaired by Rep. Suzan DelBene (Washington), who introduced separate privacy legislation last year.

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The American Data Privacy and Protection Act, which was advanced by the House Energy and Commerce Committee by a 53-2 vote, would prohibit companies from collecting or processing data about people's cross-site activity for ad purposes. 

That ban would effectively prevent companies from serving ads to web users based on their browsing activity.

The measure would also prohibit companies from serving targeted ads to children or teens younger than 17.

Other provisions would allow companies to draw on data collected from their own sites in order to serve targeted ads to adults, on an opt-out basis.

The bill would override many state laws, including nearly all provisions of California's sweeping privacy law.

The major ad organizations oppose the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, while some advocacy groups including The Electronic Privacy Information Center, New America's Open Technology Institute and Public Knowledge support the measure.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) suggested last month that she won't support the measure, due to the terms that would override California's law.

“With so much innovation happening in our state, it is imperative that California continues offering and enforcing the nation’s strongest privacy rights,” Pelosi stated.

“California’s landmark privacy laws ... must continue to protect Californians -- and states must be allowed to address rapid changes in technology.”

The bill ha not yet moved forward in the Senate. 

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