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US lawmakers reach bipartisan agreement on data privacy legislation

Published:

NEW DELHI: Two

US lawmakers

, democratic senator Maria Cantwell and republican representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, have reached a

bipartisan agreement

on draft

data privacy legislation

. The proposed legislation aims to limit the collection of

consumer data

by

technology companies

and empower Americans to control the selling and deletion of their

personal information

.

It also includes provisions for individuals to oversee the use of their personal data and mandates disclosure if data is transferred to foreign entities.
The ongoing debate on

online privacy protections

, dating back to 2019, has raised concerns about data usage by major tech firms like

Meta platforms

‘ Facebook, Google, and TikTok, but a consensus has been elusive.
The lawmakers expressed optimism about advancing the legislation soon. The plan grants the

Federal Trade Commission

and state attorneys general extensive authority to address consumer privacy issues and enforce penalties for violations, including allowing individuals to take legal action. While the bill does not prohibit targeted advertising, it offers consumers the choice to opt out.

Additionally, the legislation proposes the creation of a new privacy-focused bureau within the FTC and the imposition of fines for privacy breaches, extending to telecommunications companies.
Notably, Facebook, ByteDance (owner of TikTok), and Google have faced significant fines and settlements in the past over privacy concerns.
The lawmakers emphasized that the proposed legislation represents a significant opportunity to establish a national standard for data privacy and security, granting individuals control over their personal information.

The bill also introduces measures such as requiring explicit consent before transferring sensitive data to third parties and allowing individuals to seek legal recourse and compensation for

privacy violations

.
Moreover, it aims to prevent discrimination based on personal information and mandates regular reviews of algorithms to safeguard individuals, especially youth, from potential harm or discrimination. The bipartisan effort seeks to address long-standing challenges in the realm of data privacy and security, offering a comprehensive framework to protect individuals’ rights and regulate data practices.
The lawmakers underscored the importance of this legislation in providing people with the necessary tools to safeguard their privacy and ensure accountability in the digital age.

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