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Senate Democrats introduce privacy bill with fines for violations

Posted On: Nov. 26, 2019 11:50 AM CST


(Reuters) — Senator Maria Cantwell, backed by three other Democrats, proposed legislation that would set penalties for digital giants like Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Facebook Inc. if they mishandle users' personal data, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The measure comes at a time when the luster of the Big Tech platforms, once praised as one of the most dynamic parts of the U.S. economy, has faded because of data breaches and discomfort over what information about people is being collected and what it is used for.

Sen. Cantwell's bill, called the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act, would allow people to see what information is collected about them and prevent its sale. It also allows consumers to file lawsuits if online businesses break rules, the Post said.

Under the measure, the Federal Trade Commission would be allowed to fine companies for privacy violations, the Post said.

Sen. Cantwell's bill has similarities with California legislation, and would leave that law intact, the Post said.

Under her measure, companies would have to win a consumer's permission to share any sensitive data, which the bill defines broadly enough to include location, biometrics and brick and mortar shopping, the Post said.