According to Common Dreams, Ron Wyden, a senator from Oregon, recently introduced a bill that would dish out tough punishments to companies and CEOs who violate privacy protection laws. The bill comes at the end of a year full of data privacy violations and scandals, such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Called the “Consumer Data Protection Act,” the bill aims to pick up the federal government’s slack on confronting the endless line of new, complex cyberattacks. In the bill, Wyden notes that the government hasn’t done its job keep consumers’ sensitive data from being “sold and monetized without their knowledge,” and refusing to help consumers control companies’ use and sharing tactics with that data.
“Today’s economy is a giant vacuum for your personal information—everything you read, everywhere you go, everything you buy, and everyone you talk to is sucked up in a corporation’s database,” Wyden said in a statement. “But individual Americans know far too little about how their data is collected, how it’s used and how it’s shared.”
If passed, CEOs that fail to abide by this bill could face up to 20 years in prison.
What decision makers need to know about the bill:
If passed, the Consumer Data Protection Act would accomplish the following, according to Common Dreams:
- Establish minimum privacy and cybersecurity standards
- Issue fines (up to four percent of annual revenue), on the first offense for companies, and 10-20 year criminal penalties for senior executives
- Create a national Do Not Track system that lets consumers stop third-party companies from tracking them on the web by sharing data, selling data, or targeting advertisements based on their personal information.
- Give consumers a way to review what personal information a company has about them, learn with whom it has been shared or sold, and to challenge inaccuracies
- Hire 175 more staff to police the largely unregulated market for private data
- Require companies to assess the algorithms that process consumer data to examine their impact on accuracy, fairness, bias, discrimination, privacy, and security.
“It’s time for some sunshine on this shadowy network of information sharing,” Wyden said in a statement. “My bill creates radical transparency for consumers, gives them new tools to control their information, and backs it up with tough rules with real teeth to punish companies that abuse Americans’ most private information.”