Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, introduced a privacy bill Thursday that would level hefty penalties against technology companies that misuse consumer data.
The Consumer Data Protection Act would amend the Federal Trade Commission Act to include companies that store and use personal information. If enacted, the law would give the FTC authority to set privacy and security standards and hire 175 additional employees to police data use. It would also create a “Do Not Track” system that would allow consumers to demand companies don’t share or sell their data or use it to target ads.
First-time violators of the law could be fined 4 percent of their annual revenue. Repeat offenders could face 10-20 year prison sentences.
Large companies that collect consumer data would be required to submit an annual report detailing their compliance with the new regulations.
The bill Wyden unveiled is a “discussion draft” and his office is seeking feedback on the proposal.
“It’s time for some sunshine on this shadowy network of information sharing,” he said in a statement. “My bill creates radical transparency for consumers, gives them new tools to control their information and backs it up with tough rules with real teeth to punish companies that abuse Americans’ most private information.”