The American Data Dissemination Act would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to use the Privacy Act of 1974 to recommend legislation regarding consumer data. Congress would then be required to pass any suggested legislation within two years, or the FTC will be able to write the rule itself. Currently, the FTC only has the power to enforce existing rules.
In addition, the bill would protect small businesses from being hindered by any final legislation.
“While we may have disagreements on the best path forward, no one believes a privacy law that only bolsters the largest companies with the resources to comply and stifles our startup marketplace is the right approach,” Rubio wrote in an op-ed for The Hill.
And under the legislation, which reportedly does not have any co-sponsors at the time, national regulations would preempt state laws. While Rubio explained that “a state-by-state patchwork of laws is simply not an effective means of dealing with an issue of this magnitude," Democrats have said they won’t support any federal regulation that isn’t as strong as state laws, like the new digital privacy law passed in California last year.
In fact, California now has one of the strictest laws regarding digital privacy, giving consumers the right to know what information companies are collecting, why they are doing that and who they are sharing it with. Customers can also request that companies delete their personal information and to not share the data with any third parties. Businesses are also required to provide the same level of service even if customers decide against sharing their data with the company, and companies will face stricter restrictions when it comes to sharing and/or selling data on children under the age of 16.