At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Klobuchar pressed a panel of privacy experts and representatives from tech companies on notice of breach, opt-out, and proposals to protect consumers’ privacy and data
WASHINGTON – At a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Data Protection and Opt-Ins, titled, “GDPR & CCPA: Opt-ins, Consumer Control, and the Impact on Competition and Innovation,” Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) addressed the need to protect consumers’ data and privacy. Klobuchar pressed a panel of privacy experts and representatives from tech companies on notice of breach, opt-out, and current legislation to protect consumers’ personal information.
Klobuchar raised the following issues:
- Legislation to protect the privacy of consumers’ online data: The Social Media Privacy and Consumer Rights Act
“This is a very important matter. We actually just recently had a hearing on this in the Commerce Committee,” Klobuchar said at the hearing. “I made the point that the reason this is happening is because the companies have been lobbying against privacy legislation for years and nothing has happened in Congress. Senator Kennedy and I have a bill – while not perfect – it’s a bipartisan bill that has a number of provisions, including notice of breach.”
- Tax on ad revenue from large online platforms that would fund cybersecurity and media literacy
“This past weekend I brought up this idea…about how the individual consumer is monetized basically. They are a product, they are a commodity to many companies. One idea would be – for large platforms, for large amounts of data -- that some kind of tax be placed on them, not on the consumer, when they use that data or transfer that data and then that money could go back to the consumers or it could go back for cybersecurity for our country.
- Legislation to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements: The Honest Ads Act
“The Honest Ads Act is something that I’ve been fighting for – for more rules for the road for political advertising… it simply says that for ads that are political in nature that it has a disclaimer of who’s paying for them – so you know who is paying for them – so it is disclosed. And in fact, that’s what you do for newspaper, TV, and radio, but you have billions of dollars spent in online political ads.”
Click here for video of Klobuchar’s questions at the hearing.
Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to protect consumers’ private information. Senator Klobuchar and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Social Media Privacy and Consumer Rights Act, legislation to protect the privacy of consumers’ online data by improving transparency, strengthening consumers’ recourse options when a breach of data occurs, and ensuring companies are compliant with privacy policies that protect consumers.
More specifically, the Social Media Privacy and Consumer Rights Act legislation would:
- Give consumers the right to opt-out and keep their information private by disabling data tracking and collection,
- Provide users greater access to and control over their data,
- Require terms of service agreements to be in plain language,
- Ensure users have the ability to see what information about them has already been collected and shared,
- Mandate that users be notified of a breach of their information within 72 hours,
- Offer remedies for users when a breach occurs,
- Require that online platforms have a privacy program in place.
Social media and other online platforms routinely capture users’ behavior and personal information, which is then used to help advertisers or other third parties target those users. Senators Klobuchar and Kennedy’s legislation would protect the privacy of consumers’ online data.
In October 2017, Klobuchar introduced the Honest Ads Act with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ), to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election by buying and placing political ads on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. The content and purchaser(s) of those online advertisements are a mystery to the public because of outdated laws that have failed to keep up with evolving technology. The Honest Ads Act would prevent foreign actors from influencing our elections by ensuring that political ads sold online are covered by the same rules as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite.