Senators introduce bipartisan internet privacy bill

Senators introduce bipartisan internet privacy bill
© Greg Nash

Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHillicon Valley: Trump escalates feud with intel critics | Tesla shares fall after troubling Musk interview | House panel considers subpoena for Twitter's Jack Dorsey | Why Turkish citizens are breaking their iPhones The Hill's Morning Report — GOP seeks to hold Trump’s gains in Midwest states Tina Smith defeats former Bush ethics lawyer in Minnesota Dem primary MORE (D-Minn.) and John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) on Tuesday introduced a bipartisan internet privacy bill that would give users more control over what websites can do with their data.

The new bill, the Social Media Privacy Protection and Consumer Rights Act, comes just weeks after Congress threatened Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergThe Hill's Morning Report — Dems split on key issues but united against Trump How tech reached a breaking point with Infowars Why we should not want Facebook, or any online platform, to ‘save’ us from Alex Jones MORE with tougher regulations when he testified in back-to-back hearings earlier this month.

“I don’t want to hurt Facebook, and I don’t want to regulate them half to death, either,” Kennedy said in a statement. “But I have a job to do, and that’s protecting the rights and privacy of our citizens.”

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The bill would give users the right to opt out of having their data collected and require websites to make their terms of service easily understandable. Users would also have the ability to order websites to delete their data and request copies of what has been collected about them.

Zuckerberg promised Congress that Facebook would take a broader view of its responsibility to consumers after it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a political firm that contracted with President TrumpDonald John TrumpArizona GOP Senate candidate defends bus tour with far-right activist Alyssa Milano protests Kavanaugh in 'Handmaid's Tale' costume Bomb in deadly Yemen school bus attack was manufactured by US firm: report MORE’s 2016 campaign, obtained data on more than 87 million users without their knowledge.

Still, some lawmakers, such as Kennedy and Klobuchar, see the need for privacy legislation to rein in internet giants. Their bill would require websites to inform users of privacy violations within 72 hours of any breach.

“Every day companies profit off of the data they’re collecting from Americans, yet leave consumers completely in the dark about how their personal information, online behavior, and private messages are being used,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “The digital space can’t keep operating like the Wild West at the expense of our privacy.”