Online privacy abuse, these days, is under a check with different legislation passed for user data safety. Last week, Democratic Senator, Ron Wyden introduced a new bill that would allow Federal Trade Commission the authority to establish privacy and cybersecurity standards. Additionally, the bill levies a jail time, and a billion dollar fine on the biggest tech companies if their companies steal and sell user data, or allow a massive data breach to occur at their company.
In an interview with The Oregonian/OregonLive, Wyden said, “The point is the Federal Trade Commission on privacy issues thus far has basically been toothless. I am trying to recreate this agency for the digital era.”
Provisions provided by the bill
A ‘Do Not Track’ option
The bill would establish a ‘do not track’ option for people using online services. In lieu of allowing their search history, social media favorites and online activity to be sold to advertisers, people could opt to pay an unspecified fee to preserve their privacy.
An annual report to be submitted by big companies
The bill would allow the FTC to establish privacy and cybersecurity standards and require big companies to report annually on their privacy practices.
Penalty if false information is submitted
Penalize large companies that submit false information in their annual privacy report. Penalties could amount to 4 percent of annual revenue – a number that could run in the billions of dollars for the biggest social media companies. Executives could face jail time up to 20 years.
Assessment of algorithms
The bill stated that big companies would be required to provide assess their algorithms for accuracy, fairness, bias, and discrimination.
According to The Oregonian/OregonLive, Wyden “introduced the bill last fall and it has made little headway in the intervening months. But he’s hoping persistent consumer outrage about privacy violations could give it additional traction, coupled with support from within the tech industry itself.”
“What we are essentially advocating is what the big financial services firms have to do under Sarbanes-Oxley,” Wyden said.
David Hoffman, Intel’s associate general counsel and global privacy officer, said, “The bill is a tremendous step towards effective comprehensive U.S. privacy legislation. Providing more authority and resources to the US Federal Trade Commission is a critical foundation for robust privacy protection.”
Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains why this bill is necessary, in their YouTube video.