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Senators plan privacy legislation following Zuckerberg hearings

It would require companies to notify users of a data breach within 72 hours.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

Following Mark Zuckerberg's hearings earlier this week, two Senators have announced legislation they plan to introduce regarding the protection of consumers' online data, 9to5Mac reports. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Kennedy (R-LA) will propose regulations that would increase transparency, give consumers more control after their data has been breached and make sure companies like Facebook are working within privacy policies that protect consumers and their data. "The data breach at Facebook showed the world that the digital promised land is not all milk and honey. We've discovered some impurities in the punch bowl," Senator Kennedy said in a statement. "I don't want to regulate Facebook half to death, but there are things that need to be changed. Our bill will help protect Americans' online data fingerprint."

The legislation, yet to be introduced, would give consumers the right to opt out of data tracking and collection, give them more control over their data, require terms of service documents to be written in plain language and allow consumers to see what information of theirs has been collected and shared. Additionally, the legislation would require companies to notify consumers of a data breach within 72 hours and ensure online platforms have an adequate privacy program.

Earlier this week, Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the CONSENT Act, which stands for Customer Online Notification for Stopping Edge-provider Network Transgressions. It proposes a handful of requirements for companies like Facebook and Google, such as opt-in consent for data tracking and sharing, reasonable data security practices, notification of data collection and sharing and notifications when a data breach occurs. Enforcement of these regulations would fall to the FTC.

"Consumers have the right to know if their personal information is being sold and they have the right to easily see what data has already been sold or distributed," said Senator Klobuchar. "And most importantly, consumers should have the right to keep their information private, be alerted when a data breach has occurred and be informed of the remedies available to them when their personal information is compromised. The digital space can't keep operating like the Wild Wild West at the expense of our privacy."

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