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DelBene Introduces Legislation to Regulate Consumer Privacy

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene introduced a bill that would change the way consumers' personal, private information is protected. Her legislation has received valuable input from both consumer advocacy groups and tech companies, and is cosponsored by Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

"As a former tech CEO, I know firsthand that consumers, policymakers and the private sector share responsibility for protecting personal information from potential bad actors. With Americans spending roughly 24 hours per week online, and a quarter of people saying they're on the internet almost constantly, it's our job to ensure consumers have a clear understanding of what happens to their data," said Congresswoman DelBene.

She added, "With our nation's proud history of being the undeniable leader in tech innovation, the U.S. should be taking a lead in setting global norms in this vast arena. Under my plan, people won't have to dig through confusing policies and opt out of highly invasive settings. Privacy will be the default."

“I am proud to co-sponsor this bill with Congresswoman DelBene to make it easier for Americans to control who has access to their personal and private information. Americans should be able to use the internet with the confidence that they control where their information is going, not faceless mega-corporations,” said Congressman Jeffries.

DelBene's bill would:

  • Help people by ensuring all users are presented with companies’ privacy policies in "plain English."
  • Require companies to allow users to “opt in” before companies can use consumers’ most sensitive private information in ways the public might not expect.
  • Require companies to declare if and with whom private and behavioral data will be shared, and the purpose of sharing such information.
  • Give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule making authority and empowers states attorney generals to also pursue violations of this legislation.
  • Require companies to obtain privacy audits by a neutral third party and submit the results to the FTC annually.

The Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act can be read in its entirety here. In June, DelBene penned an op-ed for the Financial Times, where she wrote about the importance of the United States setting global norms on the issue of data privacy.

Rep. DelBene is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee as well as the Budget Committee. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition.