Bipartisan US lawmakers introduce draft American Privacy Rights Act

09/04/2024 | IAPP

A surprise development has led to a situation in which the US Congress could be on the verge of passing comprehensive data privacy legislation after two key House and Senate Committee leaders announced details of a new draft proposal on Sunday. 

The American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) is a 53-page bipartisan agreement between the Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Senator Maria Cantwell (Democrat) and House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Republican). 

The APRA seeks to limit the types of consumer data that companies can collect, retain and use to solely what they need to operate their services. The APRA would also allow users to opt-out of targeted advertising and give them the ability to view, correct, delete and download their data from online services. Furthermore, the proposal would create a national registry of data brokers and force companies to allow users to opt-out of having their data sold. 

In a press release, Rodgers said the APRA "gives Americans the right to control where their information goes and who can sell it. It reins in Big Tech by prohibiting them from tracking, predicting, and manipulating people‚Äôs behaviors for profit without their knowledge and consent. Americans overwhelmingly want these rights, and they are looking to us, their elected representatives, to act."

The IAPP has published a fact sheet and top takeaways article outlining the APRA's scope, definitions and key obligations. However, a related article highlights that the draft text is not fully agreed upon and that the bill will face a full legislative process. The article also includes industry commentary and reactions. Not all the reactions have been positive. California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) Executive Director Ashkan Soltani said that the CPPA is evaluating the bill but is "disappointed that the proposed approach to preemption is substantively the same as the (American Data Protection and Privacy Act's), which the CPPA Board voted to oppose."  

On Tuesday, 9 April, the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Innovation, Data and Commerce Subcommittee announced that it will hold a hearing on 17 April hearing to discuss "legislative solutions that will protect kids online and ensure Americans' data privacy rights." The proposed APRA will be included in the discussion, along with the proposed Kids Online Safety Act and proposed updates to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

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US Congress, National Capitol in Washington, DC

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