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Congress Just Passed the American Data Privacy and Protection Act; How Does This Affect You?

Big tech companies like Facebook and Google will soon have to change how they collect and use data, thanks to a new data privacy bill passed by Congress. This bipartisan legislation, passed by a U.S. House of Representatives Panel, gives consumers more control over their data. Under this new bill, businesses can only collect the data needed to provide their services. Sensitive information, such as Social Security Numbers, would receive additional protection.

State attorney generals raised concerns that the bill could be a precursor for tougher privacy standards adopted at the state level. However, lawmakers say that this was not their intention. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), stated that the goal of the legislation is to give consumers control over their data.

While it is not a perfect bill, it is a huge win for consumers. It gives them more control over their personal data and puts limits on how businesses can collect and use that data. This will help to protect consumers’ privacy and will greatly limit the impact of future data breaches. This bill will also add additional privacy to children under 17.

The online privacy of children is a growing concern, as the number of young people using social media and other online platforms has grown rapidly in recent years. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) seeks to address this issue by prohibiting companies from collecting and using personal data from children under the age of thirteen without parental consent. However, many child advocates argue that the bill does not go far enough. They point to studies showing that children are often unable to understand online privacy policies and terms of service agreements. As a result, they are at risk of unknowingly sharing personal information with sponsors and third-party advertisers. This bill would allow children under the age of seventeen access to more stern restrictions. It would also require social media platforms to take greater responsibility for verifying the ages of their users. These changes would help to better protect the online privacy of children and give parents peace of mind.

However, it is just the first step; there is still more work to be done to ensure that consumers’ data is safe and secure. Passing this bill through the Senate and the House of Representatives is now the largest remaining hurdle. Per Rep. Doris Matsui (D., Calif.) and other lawmakers, the bill “does not have [their] support on the [House] floor”, as they do not intend to vote in favor of it “without additional change”.

Sponsors of the legislation stated they have already taken steps to ensure that existing state privacy protections and authority are preserved. For example, they have given state data-privacy agencies authority to enforce the proposed federal law. The proposed federal law would establish a national standard for data privacy and would provide for the regulation of data collection, use, disclosure, and security. It would also create a private right of action for consumers whose data is mishandled. These sponsors support the legislation, calling it a necessary in order to protect consumer privacy in the face of increasingly sophisticated data collection and use by businesses. They also encourage unity in the treatment of consumer data across the country so that businesses can operate in multiple states without having to comply with a patchwork of different laws. 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be responsible for enforcing the new rules and could impose significant fines for violators. The agency would also be required to report to Congress every two years on the effectiveness of the law.

So, what does this mean for you? If this bill becomes law, you will be able to have more control over your data by being informed on what information regarding you is being collected and how it is being used. You will also have the right to opt out of having your data collected. This is a big win for consumers and privacy advocates.

What do you think about this new data privacy bill? Do you think it goes far enough? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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