Banking and Finance Law Daily Brown proposal intended to protect consumer privacy against data collection
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Friday, June 19, 2020

Brown proposal intended to protect consumer privacy against data collection

By Katalina M. Bianco, J.D.

The senator released a draft privacy bill intended to hold corporations, big tech, and the government responsible for how they collect and protect personal data.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, has introduced a bill intended to guard consumers’ privacy against intrusive data collection. The bill, the Data Accountability and Transparency Act of 2020, places strict limits on the collection, use, and sharing of Americans’ personal data and contains civil rights protections to ensure that personal information is not used for discriminatory purposes.

"Right now, we do not protect people’s privacy—that means we don’t protect their civil rights. We need legislation now more than ever that empowers Americans to control their personal information. No person should have to worry about being spied on, just like no one should worry about their information being bought and sold or stolen,"said Brown. "My proposal would change the fundamental framework of privacy in this country.

According to Brown, the bill would:

  • ban the collection, use or sharing of personal data unless specifically allowed by law;
  • prohibit the use of facial recognition technology;
  • ban the use of personal data to discriminate in housing, employment, credit, insurance, and public accommodations;
  • require anyone using decision-making algorithms to provide accountability reports;
  • empower individuals and state attorneys general to enforce privacy protections;
  • require CEO certification of compliance with the Act; and
  • impose potential criminal and civil penalties for CEOs and their boards of directors for violations.

The bill also would create an independent agency dedicated to protecting individuals’ privacy and the implementation of the Act. The agency would have rulemaking, supervisory, and enforcement authority, the ability to issue civil penalties for violations of the Act, and a dedicated Office of Civil Rights intended to protect individuals from discrimination.

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