If a newly proposed digital privacy bill is adopted in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would have more power to regulate tech companies. Specifically, the FTC would be able to oversee more strictly how companies manage user data.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash), a ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, was leading a push for the bill to be introduced. Known as the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA), laws would change to be in line with those in Europe.
The goal of the bill is for to give consumers more privacy rights. Under the bill, the FTC would be able to control how tech companies use data in a similar way to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
“In the growing online world, consumers deserve two things. Privacy rights and a strong law to enforce them,” Cantwell said in a statement. “They should be like your Miranda rights — clear as a bell as to what they are and what constitutes a violation.”
Under the bill, consumers would be able to request which data companies have on them. Furthermore, if asked those companies would have to delete or change the data. COPRA would also mandate organizations to get explicit consent from users to share sensitive data.
Lastly in the bill would also state that companies cannot hold more data than they reasonably need to deliver services. CEOs would also be held more responsible and be forced into annual certifications with the FTC.
Under the COPRA bill, the FTC would be able to develop a new bureau to oversee the new digital regulations.
Cantwell’s bill was also sponsored by Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).
“Companies continue to profit off of the personal data they collect from Americans. But they leave consumers completely in the dark about how their personal information is being used. Consumers have a right to know if their personal data is being sold and to easily see what data has already been distributed,” said Klobuchar said in a statement.