DelBene Reintroduces Privacy Bill

Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) has reintroduced a data privacy bill that would give the Federal Trade Commission targeted rulemaking authority.

That comes as privacy legislation of various stripes is in the spotlight in Washington. Both sides of the aisle are in agreement that some type of federal privacy protection legislation is needed.

Most also agree with giving the FTC more tools to tackle privacy since it is now responsible for both edge provider and ISP conduct following the FCC's reclassification of internet access as an information service.

“A lack of privacy control is a threat Americans face every day. As a former tech entrepreneur with experience in this field, I’m aware of the critical moment we’re facing," DelBene said. "This is a time for consumers, policymakers and the private sector to come together and protect consumers’ sensitive personal information from bad actors."

The Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act would also

1. "Help consumers by ensuring all users are presented with companies’ privacy policies in 'plain English.'

2. "Require companies to allow users to 'opt in' before companies can use consumers’ most sensitive private information in ways the public might not expect.

3. "Require companies to declare if and with whom private and behavioral data will be shared, and the purpose of sharing such information.

4. "Empower states attorneys general to also pursue violations of this legislation.

5. "Give the FTC the ability to fine bad actors on their first offense.

Require companies to obtain privacy audits by a neutral third party and submit the results to the FTC biannually."

DelBene was bot an entrepreneur and a Big Tech exec. She spent a dozen years at Microsoft, where she was VP of its mobile communications business. Before that she was CEO of Nimble Technology, a business software company.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.