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Congress might Finally have a Deal on Data Privacy

Legislators. have been pushing for a comprehensive federal law to protect user data for decades, but it has never made it through the turmoil of a highly divided Congress. The Energy and Commerce Committee, on the other hand, convened its first hearing on Tuesday to explore a fresh plan that lawmakers feel has a chance of passing.

The proposal, dubbed the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, is a significant step forward in data privacy debates in Congress. Due to party disputes, any bill that would establish a nationwide standard for user data safeguards has languished in committee for years. From Republicans refusing to accept proposals allowing states, such as California, to implement their own laws to Democrats wanting a private right of action, conversations have repeatedly failed.

On Tuesday, though, legislators on both sides of the aisle stated unequivocally that they are the closest they’ve ever been to approving a comprehensive privacy reform. During Tuesday’s meeting, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said, “This is the closest we’ve gone to establishing a national standard – a norm that many have argued for a long time is critically required.”

Americans will be able to view, modify, and seek the erasure of any personal data that firms have acquired on them under the new law. It also asks the Federal Trade Commission to clarify what kind of data organizations must acquire as a first step toward limiting the amount of data they may collect. The bill also emphasises civil liberties and child protection, prohibiting corporations from displaying tailored adverts to children under the age of 16 and requiring them to undertake yearly civil rights audits on their algorithms.

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