House, Senate leaders close to deal on landmark online privacy bill

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Leaders of two key congressional committees are close to an agreement on a national framework aimed at protecting Americans’ personal data online, a major milestone that puts lawmakers closer than ever to enacting legislation. can bring what they have been deprived of for decades. on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The tentative agreement is expected to preempt state data protection laws between Congressional Democrats and Republicans and create a mechanism for individuals to sue companies that violate their privacy, the person said. Let the case be prosecuted. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-Wash.) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), chairs of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee, respectively, will announce the deal next week.

Spokesmen for the committees did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Friday.

There was news of the expected deal. First reported By politics publication Punchbowl News.

Lawmakers have tried for more than two decades to pass a comprehensive federal privacy law, but negotiations have repeatedly broken down in both chambers amid partisan disputes over the scope of protections. These divisions have created a vacuum that states are increasingly trying to fill, with more than a dozen passing their own privacy laws.

Republicans have long argued that federal law must be consistent with state standards, while Democrats have called for allowing states to override any federal protections. The two parties have also been sharply divided on whether consumers should be able to sue for violations, with Democrats supporting such provisions and Republicans opposing.

In the last Congress, leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and top Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee reached an agreement on a proposal that appeared to overcome those obstacles, with Democrats allowing some state laws and limited rights for Republicans. Agreed on. For consumers to sue, that’s called a private right of action.

But Cantwell publicly rejected the proposal, casting doubt on the legislation’s chances of passing. House lawmakers pushed the bill out of committee, but the proposal never made it to the floor due to opposition from California Democrats, including then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That measure, the US Data Privacy and Protection Act, has not been reintroduced this Congress.

Details on the latest framework are scant, and the support of McMorris Rodgers and Cantwell doesn’t guarantee the measure will clear both houses of Congress. But their expected agreement would mark the first time that the heads of the two powerful Commerce committees, which oversee a wide range of Internet policy, have agreed on a major consumer privacy bill.

While lawmakers have long sought to pass a federal privacy law, their efforts have gained steam in recent years as scrutiny of tech companies’ data collection practices has increased in Washington.

The federal government already has laws in place to protect people’s health and financial data, in addition to protecting children’s personal data, but none to regulate the collection, use, and sale of much of the data companies use online. Not a great quality.

Meanwhile, it has been almost six years since the European Union began implementing its standards, which set limits on companies’ collection practices.

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