Apr 7, 2024 - Technology

Key lawmakers unveil landmark data privacy bill

n this photo illustration the logo of US online social media and social networking site 'X' (formerly known as Twitter) is displayed centrally on a smartphone screen alongside that of Threads (L) and Instagram (R) on August 01, 2023 in Bath, England.

Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

A sweeping data privacy bill was unveiled by two key lawmakers from opposing parties on Sunday.

Why it matters: This landmark legislation would make privacy a consumer right and put people in control of their own personal data, per a joint statement from Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) Sunday.

The big picture: The American Privacy Rights Act would eliminate the existing patchwork of state data privacy laws, per the joint statement.

  • It would also give consumers the right to sue tech companies that violate their privacy rights and create a new data privacy-focused bureau within the Federal Trade Commission, according to a draft of the bill, which has yet to be introduced.
A screenshot of a tweet by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, saying: "It reins in Big Tech by prohibiting them from tracking, predicting, and manipulating people’s behaviors for profit without their knowledge and consent.  Americans overwhelmingly want these rights, and they are looking to us, their elected representatives, to act."
Photo: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers/X

Go deeper: Inside the CMR-Cantwell data privacy bill (Axios Pro subscription)

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