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Senate Dems Propose Bill to Secure Personal Data Online

Senate Democrats introduced a bill to increase security for citizens’ personal data on public websites and apps.

Sen. Brian Schatz, top Democrat on the Senate Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet subcommittee, led the proposal of the Data Care Act that would require online providers to improve security of personal information and prevent misuse of user data, according to a statement posted Wednesday

“By establishing a special fiduciary relationship between online providers and users, companies that use or sell people’s data will be held responsible for keeping consumers safe from harm, data breaches and unnecessary invasions of privacy,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., who cosponsored the legislation. 

She added the bill would enable the Federal Trade Commission to collaborate with the U.S. Attorney General “to ensure service providers strengthen personal data protections and protect the security of American consumers’ sensitive personal data.”

Under the Data Care Act, service providers will be required to:

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  • Reasonably secure individual identifying data and promptly inform users of data breaches that involve sensitive information
  • Avoid using individual identifying data in ways that harm users
  • Ensure that the duties of care and loyalty extend to third parties when disclosing, selling or sharing individual identifying data
  • Follow federal and state enforcement as a violation of the duties will be treated as a violation of an FTC rule with first fine authority
  • Follow FTC’s rule-making authority

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