Press Releases

DelBene Introduces Legislation to Protect Consumer Privacy

Bill gives consumers control over how their personal data is used

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene reintroduced legislation that would change the way consumers' personal, private information is protected. The Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act would give people control over their most sensitive information while ensuring the government can enforce these rules.

“A lack of privacy control is a threat Americans face every day. As a former tech entrepreneur with experience in this field, I’m aware of the critical moment we’re facing. This is a time for consumers, policymakers and the private sector to come together and protect consumers’ sensitive personal information from bad actors,” said DelBene.

She added, “Under this legislation, privacy will be the default. People will no longer have to dig through confusing user policies and opt out of highly invasive settings, and the Federal Trade Commission will have the authority to hold companies accountable. The U.S. must take a national stance and be a leader in setting global standards on this important issue. Let’s use our standing as the world’s undeniable leader in tech innovation to protect the people who use it every day.”

“This legislation is an important step forward in finding a balanced approach to consumer data protection. This proposal would significantly strengthen the FTC’s enforcement capabilities, establish uniform national rules for the digital economy, and ensure businesses are focused on protecting consumers’ most sensitive information. This legislation shows that it is possible to both protect consumers without undermining innovation, and we encourage Congress to move forward quickly with this proposal to provide guidance and certainty to consumers and business alike,” said Daniel Castro, Vice President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

“We thank Congresswoman DelBene for her leadership in introducing the Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act. Privacy is one of the most important issues before Congress, and this legislation is a valuable contribution to the discussion. BSA stands ready to work with all Members of Congress and the committees of jurisdiction to pass a strong, comprehensive federal bill to create one national standard that protects privacy and restores the American people’s trust,” said Craig Albright, Vice President of Legislative Strategy, BSA | The Software Alliance.

DelBene's legislation would:

  • Help consumers 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) privacy targeted rule making authority and empowers states attorney generals to also pursue violations of this legislation.
  • Give the FTC the ability to fine bad actors on their first offense.
  • Require companies to obtain privacy audits by a neutral third party and submit the results to the FTC biannually.

The bill text can be read here and full details of the bill can be found here. DelBene first introduced a similar version of this legislation in the 115th Congress.

Rep. DelBene is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee as well as the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition. She is co-chair of the Digital Trade Caucus, Women's High Tech Caucus, and Internet of Things Caucus.

She represents Washington’s first congressional district.