Senator Brown Unveils Data Accountability and Transparency Act

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown announced today that he will introduce the Data Accountability and Transparency Act of 2020, a comprehensive privacy and data protection bill. The bill would (1) prohibit both private companies and government agencies from collecting personal data unless it is “strictly necessary” to carry out one of a few specified purposes; (2) ban the use of facial surveillance technology; (3) prohibit discrimination on the basis of personal data; (4) require accountability and transparency for algorithmic decisionmaking; (5) establish a federal data protection agency with the power to issue rules and enforce dozens of federal privacy laws; (6) enable individuals and state attorneys general to enforce the law in court; and (7) allow states to enact more restrictive privacy laws if they choose to. “The Data Accountability and Transparency Act of 2020 sets a strong standard for data protection,” said Caitriona Fitzgerald, EPIC Interim Associate Director. “Senator Brown’s bill creates enforceable privacy rights and limits the amount of data companies can collect and keep about us.” EPIC has long advocated for the enactment of comprehensive privacy legislation and the creation of data protection agency. EPIC’s report Grading on a Curve: Privacy Legislation in the 116th Congress sets out the key elements of a modern privacy law.

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