After years of impasse, a bipartisan group of legislators in the House and Senate has proposed a federal data privacy law. The bill, which was circulated on Friday, would require companies to minimize their data collection practices to only what is necessary, along with a variety of other restrictions. Like several recently passed state privacy laws, the bill would also provide consumers with certain rights over their data, including the right to opt-out of targeted advertising. Significantly, this new law would pre-empt state laws covering the same space, though the draft includes a variety of carve-outs for certain existing laws. If passed, the new law would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General. However, after four years, individuals would also be permitted to sue under the law. While the bill faces many hurdles, it represents the most significant move towards a federal privacy law in years.
If it becomes law, the “American Data Privacy and Protection Act,” as the bill is called, would provide a national standard on what data companies can gather from individuals and how they can use it.