On Wednesday July 20, 2022, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a markup of the “American Data Privacy and Protection Act” (H.R. 8152). The bill would establish a comprehensive national data privacy and data security framework. Among other provisions, the framework includes: data minimization provisions that will prevent companies from collecting consumer data beyond what is necessary to provide products or services; individual rights allowing consumers to access, correct, and delete their data; and civil rights protections that prohibit discriminatory data practices. The legislation is the first comprehensive privacy bill to gain bipartisan and bicameral support.
Statement of Yosef Getachew, Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director
“We are glad to see that the American Data Privacy and Protection Act is going to a full committee markup, and that Republican and Democratic leadership on the House Energy & Commerce Committee has come together on a comprehensive privacy proposal to protect our data online. While we are still reviewing the entirety of the text, there are several provisions in the bill that would give consumers significantly more control than they have today over how their data is collected, used, and shared. The bill’s strong data minimization requirements would prevent companies from collecting personal data beyond what’s necessary to perform a service, and the individual rights provisions would allow consumers to access, correct, and delete data that’s collected about them. These provisions would mitigate current exploitative data practices that have led to a number of harms.
“We are particularly encouraged by the inclusion of strong civil rights protections that prohibit the use of data to engage in discriminatory practices. Privacy and data abuses have disproportionately impacted people of color and marginalized communities preventing them from accessing economic opportunities and equal rights online. For example, algorithms and ad-delivery systems have prevented communities of color from receiving advertisements regarding housing and employment among other economic opportunities. Privacy rights are civil rights, and any comprehensive proposal must prohibit data-driven discrimination. The civil rights provisions in this legislation are stronger than what’s found in any existing state privacy law, and would ensure everyone, regardless of where they live, is protected from discriminatory data practices.
“For too long, the lack of meaningful privacy protections has posed serious threats to our democracy. Companies can easily manipulate data in nefarious ways to discriminate and harm consumers. We look forward to continuing to work with members of Congress on this important proposal. It is undoubtedly a much-needed and long overdue step in the right direction to enact meaningful privacy legislation that would give individuals control over their own data and safeguard their civil rights.
To view the bill, click here.