New Senate Data Privacy Bill: Internet Version of Privacy Act of 1974

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Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has introduced into the U.S. Senate a piece of legislation intended to protect both consumer data privacy and the innovative capabilities of the Internet economy. The American Data Dissemination Act of 2019 (S.142) would impose privacy requirements on providers of Internet services that are similar to the requirements imposed on Federal agencies under the Privacy Act of 1974. According to a statement released by Sen. Rubio, by using the Privacy Act of 1974 as a template, “the bill provides overdue transparency and accountability from the tech industry while ensuring that small businesses and start-ups are still able to innovate and compete in the digital marketplace.” Currently, there is no single, comprehensive federal law regulating the collection and use of personal data. Instead, the U.S. has a patchwork of state privacy and federal laws that apply to particular categories of information, such as health (HIPPA) or financial information (Gramm-Leach-Biley). Sen. Rubio’s proposed law would regulate at the national level the collection and use of consumers’ personal data. The American Data Dissemination Act of 2019 has no co-sponsors at this time, and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for further deliberation.

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