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US Lawmakers have initiated drafting privacy regulations and also encouraging the enforcement agencies to build a privacy framework which they can easily follow.

Last week, Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator introduced a bill titled ‘American Data Dissemination (ADD) Act’ for creating federal standards of privacy protection for large companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

However, this bill largely focuses on data collection and disclosure. Hence, the experts were afraid that this bill would ignore the way companies use customer’s data.

Last week, U.S. Senators John Kennedy and Amy Klobuchar introduced the ‘Social Media Privacy and Consumer Rights Act’ that allows the consumers to have more control over their personal data. This legislation aims to improve transparency, strengthen consumers’ recourse options during a data breach and ensure companies are compliant with privacy policies that protect consumers.

Another bill, sponsored by Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger, Jim Himes, Will Hurd, and Mike Conaway, was introduced last week to combat theft of U.S. technologies by state actors including China, and to reduce risks to “critical supply chains.”

Ruppersberger said they had long suspected Beijing is using its telecom companies to spy on Americans and they knew that China is responsible for up to $600 billion in a theft of U.S. trade secrets.

Some reintroduced bills

Securing Energy Infrastructure Act

A bill titled ‘Securing Energy Infrastructure Act’ was proposed by Sens. Jim Risch, and Angus King. This bill, reintroduced last Thursday, would push the government to explore new ways to secure the electric grid against cyber attacks. This bill unanimously passed the Senate in December but was never put to a vote in the House.

Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act

On 17th January, Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., renewed their call to increase punishments for people running robocall scams. The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence, or TRACED, Act would give the Federal Communications Commission more legal leeway to pursue and prosecute robocallers. Under the bill, telecom companies would also need to adopt tools to sift out robocalls.

Thune said, “The TRACED Act holds those people who participate in robocall scams and intentionally violate telemarketing laws accountable and does more to proactively protect consumers who are potential victims of these bad actors.”

Federal CIO Authorization Act

The Federal CIO Authorization Act, which Reps. Will Hurd, and Robin Kelly, reintroduced on Jan. 4, passed the House unanimously on Tuesday. This bill would elevate the federal chief information officer within the White House chain of command and designate both the federal CIO and federal chief information security officer as presidentially appointed positions. The measure still lacks a Senate counterpart.

Lawmakers have also sent letters to different companies including Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T asking for information on the companies’ data sharing partnerships with third-party aggregators. These companies have time until Jan 30 to respond. Reps. Greg Walden, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Robert Latta, and Brett Guthrie, wrote, “We are deeply troubled because it is not the first time we have received reports and information about the sharing of mobile users’ location information involving a number of parties who may have misused personally identifiable information.”

To know more about these bills in detail, visit the Nextgov website.

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