US lawmakers push for online consumer protection

Posted by Michelle Quinn | 15 October 2018 | 1,544 times

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• A shopper scans an Amazon Go app on a cellphone while entering an Amazon store

The U.S. Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791, enshrined in law the right to speech, assembly, and worship.

Now some congressional leaders are calling for a new bill of rights, one for the internet age.

The purpose: to protect people's personal data.

U.S. Representative Ro Khanna, a California Democrat who counts many tech firms in his district, recently issued a list of 10 principles as part of his "Internet Bill of Rights."

"You should have the right," Khanna begins, "to have access to and knowledge of all collection and uses of personal data by companies."

Privacy advocates have long criticized internet firms for their handling of user data and the difficulty many people experience in taking control of their information. That discussion has only gained momentum in recent months as U.S. tech companies such as Facebook and Google grapple with high-profile data breaches that have undermined consumers' trust.

Internet regulations on multiple fronts

In addition, internet firms are facing new privacy and security laws.

California's new online privacy law, slated to go into effect in 2020, gives consumers more control over their data and greater ability to sue companies. State regulators will have more power as well to fine companies that violate the new law, which allows customers to tell companies to delete or not share their data.

California's new law has been described as the most stringent privacy regulation in the country, although it is not as expansive as Europe's General Data Protection Regulation, which went into effect earlier this year.

Other U.S. states, such as Ohio, have recently passed cybersecurity legislation.

"There's a feeling that to stem the tide of state regulation, a federal law is needed," said Chris Hoofnagle, an adjunct professor of law at the University of California Berkeley. "The big goal is to knock out California." (VOA)


Source: News Express

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