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Lawmakers Unveil National Data Privacy Framework

Lawmakers Unveil National Data Privacy Framework

The United States is closer to achieving nationwide data privacy protections, according to a pair of lawmakers.

Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, both of Washington and the heads of their chambers’ commerce committees, announced the American Privacy Rights Act Sunday (April 7), saying in a press release that it would establish “clear, national data privacy rights and protections for Americans.”

The act would eliminate “the patchwork of state laws by setting one national privacy standard, stronger than any state,” per the release.

It would also minimize the data companies can collect, store and use about people, limiting it to what businesses need to provide them with products and services, the release said.

In addition, the act would let people prevent the sale and transfer of their data and let them opt out of data processing if a company changes its privacy policy, according to the release.

The act also establishes stricter safeguards “by requiring affirmative express consent before sensitive data can be transferred to a third party,” the release said.

Lastly, the act requires companies to let people access, correct, delete and export their data, and it lets people opt out of targeted advertising, per the release.

The act comes at a time when “the notion of privacy has become an elusive concept, sought after yet increasingly challenging to attain,” as PYMNTS wrote last week.

Recent events — like the settlement between tech giant Google and several users over the improper collection of data during “incognito” browsing sessions — highlight the “delicate balance between convenience and privacy in a digital age,” the report said.

The lawsuit is one piece of a broader privacy debate happening across the landscape of the connected economy. There are also concerns about the extensive monitoring of connected car driving data.

Data privacy concerns are also part of the reason why some consumers avoid using digital wallets. While 80% of Generation Z consumers said they use services like Apple Pay and Google Pay, 12.4% of this age group sticks to physical wallets, citing data privacy worries as the main reason.