December 1, 2018
A United States Senate subcommittee has disclosed that it is working on a draft of a GDPR-style law for the United States.
Senators Richard Blumenthal (Democrat) and Jerry Moran (Republican) are putting together a two-party bill that would preserve much of the same safeguards in the US that GDPR implements in the EU.
Senator Blumenthal, remarking on the latest happenings, said that a system of fines for data breaches is essential. He said: “A much-anticipated bill that might provide the U.S. government the capability to collect civil fines if a firm abuses consumer data on the internet or lets it to be stolen could be prepared early next year. I have been working with Senator Moran on a bipartisan secrecy bill that I expect will make very good progress very soon.”
It was also informed that last Tuesday the Congressional subcommittee on consumer safety, product protection, insurance, and data safety discussed the details of the proposed law but didn’t reach an agreement on the language of the bill. It was, however, suggested that the FTC might provide guidance and apply punitive fines against firms, groups or organizations that abuse or fail to protect consumer data.
According to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, launched on May 25 this year, businesses face a maximum penalty of €20m or 4% of yearly international income. Already huge international firms including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and British Airways have been subjected to several GDPR grievances.
A GDPR-style law in the US has several supporters including Apple CEO Tim Cook. In October this year, Cook led the calls for this saying: “It is time for the rest of the world … to follow your (the European Union’s) lead. We at Apple are in full support of a complete central secrecy law in the United States.”
Cook, who was the important speaker at a meeting on data secrecy conference in Brussels said: “Technology’s capability is and always should be rooted in the faith people have in it.” You can read the complete report of that speech here: Apple CEO Tim Cook Urges US to Introduce for GDPR-like Data Protection Legislation
The suggested data secrecy law is certain to face plenty of resistance from activists and it is not yet clear what stance big firms like Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, and Google will take on the problem as they all depend on so heavily on gathering data on their users.
Any firms that have not, so far, studied or checked their data safety methods to make sure that they are doing everything possible to safeguard individuals’ secrecy would be wise to start the process now in order to be prepared for the introduction of such a bill.