U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, recently released a draft privacy bill, the Data Accountability and Transparency Act of 2020
Link to: US Senate Draft Privacy Bill

Brown’s proposal would:

  • Give Americans the power to hold corporations, big tech, and the government responsible for how they collect and protect personal data. The bill
  • Rejects the “consent” model for privacy, and instead places strict limits on the collection, use, and sharing of Americans’ personal data. The bill contains
  • Provide strong civil rights protections to ensure personal information is not used for discriminatory purposes
  • Ban the use of facial recognition technology.
  • Empowers individuals and state attorneys general to enforce privacy protections and does not preempt more protective state laws
  • Require CEO certification of compliance with the Act; and
  • contains potential criminal and civil penalties for CEO and Board of Directors

Brown’s proposal also establishes a new independent agency dedicated to protecting Americans’ privacy rights.

This bill is the latest in a series of federal proposals under consideration and signals that congressional lawmaker interest in a law that would address privacy across all 50 states continues. In recent months, four bills and two draft proposals have been put forward on Capitol Hill that would establish a comprehensive federal consumer privacy framework. In addition, trade associations and think tanks are developing and debating their own draft legislation.

Much of the interest in a federal law has been prompted by efforts in the states to pass privacy laws, and the concern that a patchwork of state requirements would burden businesses impede the flow of data, not only within the U.S. but between companies, research institutions, and schools around the world. While it is not clear when Congress might finally vote on such legislation, the continued attention policymakers give to this issue during an election year and in the face of pressing issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic signals its ongoing importance to lawmakers, business and consumer advocates.