US lawmakers strike deal on data privacy legislation


WASHINGTON, April 7 (Reuters) – Two key U.S. lawmakers said on Sunday they struck a deal on draft bipartisan data privacy legislation that would restrict consumer data that technology companies can collect and give Americans the power to prevent selling of personal information or compel its deletion.

The agreement between Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, who chairs the Commerce Committee, and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would give individuals control over use of their personal information and require disclosure if data has been transferred to foreign adversaries.

Congress has been debating online privacy protections since at least 2019 amid concerns about use of data by social media companies including Meta Platforms’ (META.O), opens new tab Facebook, Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O), opens new tab Google and ByteDance-owned TikTok, but have been unable to reach agreement.

Aides told reporters on Sunday they hoped to advance legislation soon.

Meta, TikTok and Google could not immediately be reached for comment.

In a joint statement, the lawmakers said the plan gives the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general broad authority to oversee consumer privacy issues and establish “robust enforcement mechanisms to hold violators accountable, including a private right of action for individuals.”

The bill does not ban targeted advertising but gives consumers the ability to opt out of it. The FTC would create a new bureau focused on privacy and could issue fines for privacy violations which would also cover telecommunications companies.

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