US Senate New Privacy Bill Introduced
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced sweeping new privacy legislation, the Mind Your Own Business Act, which he says will create the strongest-ever protections for Americans’ private data and to hold accountable the corporate executives responsible for abusing consumers’ information. The bill is characterized as containing the most comprehensive protections for Americans’ private data ever introduced, and goes further than Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It would give American consumers an easy, one-click way to stop companies from selling or sharing their personal information, give consumers transparency into how corporations use and share their data, and impose fines and even prison terms for executives at corporations that misuse Americans’ data and lie about those practices to the government.
Specifically, the bill empowers the FTC to:
- Establish minimum privacy and cybersecurity standards.
- Issue steep fines (up to 4% of annual revenue), on the first offense for companies and 10-20 year criminal penalties for senior executives who knowingly lie to the FTC.
- Create a national Do Not Track system that lets consumers stop companies from tracking them on the web, selling or sharing their data, or targeting advertisements based on their personal information. Companies that wish to condition products and services on the sale or sharing of consumer data must offer another, similar privacy-friendly version of their product, for which they can charge a reasonable fee. This fee will be waived for low-income consumers who are eligible for the Federal Communication Commission’s Lifeline program.
- Give consumers a way to review the personal information a company has about them, learn with whom it has been shared or sold, and to challenge inaccuracies in it.
- Hire 175 more staff to police the largely unregulated market for private data.
- Require companies to assess the algorithms that process consumer data to examine their impact on accuracy, fairness, bias, discrimination, privacy and security.
The bill also permits state attorney generals to enforce the regulations created by the bill and creates a right of action for protection and advocacy organizations. Each state will be able to designate one “protection and advocacy” organization that can file civil suits against companies that violate privacy regulations. The bill allows the FTC to distribute some of the money it collects in fines to the designated nonprofits. The bill also clarifies that the bill does not preempt any state law.
A one-page summary of the bill is available here.
“Mark Zuckerberg won’t take Americans’ privacy seriously unless he feels personal consequences. A slap on the wrist from the FTC won’t do the job, so under my bill he’d face jail time for lying to the government,” Wyden said. “I spent the past year listening to experts and strengthening the protections in my bill. It is based on three basic ideas: Consumers must be able to control their own private information, companies must provide vastly more transparency about how they use and share our data, and corporate executives need to be held personally responsible when they lie about protecting our personal information.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: US Senate Introduces Mind Your Own Business Act, FTC Releases FY 2019 National Do Not Call Registry Data Book
FTC Releases FY 2019 National Do Not Call Registry Data Book
The Federal Trade Commission today issued the National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for Fiscal Year 2019. The FTC’s National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry lets consumers choose not to receive most legal telemarketing calls. The data show that the number of active registrations on the DNC Registry increased over the past year, while the total number of consumer complaints decreased for the second year in a row.
Now in its eleventh year, the Data Book contains information about the DNC Registry for FY 2019 (from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019). The Data Book provides the most recent information available on robocall complaints, the types of calls consumers reported to the FTC, and a complete state-by-state analysis.
Significant Changes in the FY 2019 Data
This year, consumers most frequently reported robocalls about imposter scams, with more than 574,000 complaints received. This represents a significant increase from FY 2018, when such complaints comprised only the third most reported category, with approximately 393,000 complaints received.
The upward trend in imposter fraud calls complaint volume regarding began in May 2019 and increased over the remainder of the fiscal year. Calls about medical issues and prescriptions made up the second-largest category, followed by complaints about debt-reduction programs, which was the most reported topic last year.
With respect to state data, New Hampshire now leads the nation in active DNC registrations per capita. The states reporting the most complaints per 100,000 population has not changed: the top five states are Colorado (2,294 per 100k population), Oregon (2,227 per 100k population), Arizona (2,211 per 100k population), New Jersey (2,188 per 100k population), and Nevada (2,186 per 100k population).
Finally, to make the information in the FY 2019 Data Book more accessible for the public, updated and interactive DNC data dashboards are available at ftc.gov/exploredata.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.