Last Friday, April 12th 2019, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) introduced a new piece of legislation referred to as the “Privacy Bill of Rights Act” – aiming to enforce set a new standards surrounding electronic data and consumer privacy that rivals the freedoms/protections guaranteed to Americans by the traditional Bill of Rights when this country was first formed. According to Senator Markey himself, the bill would formally establish “rules for both online and offline companies and bans the use of individuals’ personal information for harmful, discriminatory purposes, such as housing and employment advertisements targeted based on demographics like race and gender. It also includes cybersecurity standards and provides the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with rulemaking authority.”
Truth be told, the new bill is actually a combination of 3 bills which have all previously failed to pass US Congress, including President Obama’s Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2015 (CPBORA), Mr. Markey’s Customer Online Notification for Stopping Edge-provider Network Transgressions Act of 2018 (CONSENT), and Ro Khanna’s Internet Bill of Rights Act of 2018. Despite previous failures however, Mr. Markey has decided to re-introduces the measures in “the wake of a series of revelations about myriad companies sharing consumers’ personal information without their consent, as well as unauthorized breaches of the data of hundreds of millions of consumers.” Consequentially, this is also why Markey believes the bill may now finally come to fruition.
More specifically, Markey’s bill:
- Prohibits companies from using individuals’ personal information in discriminatory ways
- Requires companies to protect and secure the personal information that they hold
- Establishes a centralized FTC website that tells consumers about their privacy rights and requires companies to use easy to read short-form notices provided directly to consumers
- Ensures companies collect only the information they need from consumers in order to provide the requested services
- Enables State Attorneys General to protect the interest of their residents and bring action against companies that violate the privacy rights of individuals. Individuals will also have a private right of action empowering them to defend their own privacy rights.
Download Copy of Bill: https://www.markey.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Privacy%20Bill%20of%20Rights%20Act.pdf
Browse Bill:Privacy Bill of Rights Act