It is not yet signed into law, but if successful, users will be able to opt out of receiving targeted ads and sue companies that sell their data illegally.
The biggest hurdle between Democrats and Republicans was whether federal law should prevail over state law. Republicans support this idea, saying anything else would be a compliance nightmare for companies. Democrats, on the other hand, want consumers to be able to sue companies that play too much with their customer data.
Collecting minimal data
The proposed legislation finds a compromise between the two, The Washington Post it says. There would be a limit on how and when people could sue internet companies and some measures that would supersede state digital privacy laws.
Companies will only be able to collect data essential for the survival of their operations and will no longer be able to charge users for access to data privacy measures (except for some exemptions). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be required to create a public registry of data brokers and create a mechanism that would allow users to opt out of targeted advertising and data sharing practices. Users would also be free to adjust their digital data collected from their browsing (opens in new tab) habits and others.
To make all this a reality, the FTC would create a new organization. Federal regulators, as well as state attorneys, could sue groups they believe violate these laws, for punitive damages. Individuals will also be able to sue, but only after a four-year grace period.
For consumer rights advocates, the proposed bill is “the biggest advance” in lawmakers’ effort to create a federal privacy law, The Washington Post concluded.