Dec 24th 2019

Urgent calls for bipartisan agreement

Amid the chaos of Thanksgiving, two new federal bills about consumer online privacy have emerged from the Senate.

The Democratic bill, filed by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) on November 26, is called the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act. This bill follows the principles for privacy legislation that she and other Democratic leaders released the previous week. 

The Republican version appeared in the form of a staff discussion draft written by the office of Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS). Senator Wicker said the bill is “better, stronger, clearer” than CCPA, which is reportedly the main driver for both the Democratic and the Republican bills.

It’s not quite the bipartisan reckoning many businesses have hoped for, but the two pieces of legislation appear to be “closer together on most issues than they are apart.”  Both bills include individual rights such as access, correction, deletion and portability for personal information, along with an opt-in requirement for the processing of “sensitive data” — among other similarities. 

There are many differences between the two bills as well, but one key difference is over the right of individuals to sue over violations of privacy under the law. 

This Wednesday, at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, lawmakers renewed their negotiations, debating the private right of action, and whether national law should preempt state bills. 

Read the Future for Privacy Forum’s comparison of both bills.

Read more about the Senate hearing, “Examining Legislative Proposals to Protect Consumer Data Privacy

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