Rep. McNerney Introduces Legislation to Protect Consumers' Online Privacy and Data Security
Washington, DC – This past week, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) introduced H.R. 2356, the Managing Your Data Against Telecom Abuses Act of 2017 (the “MY DATA Act of 2017”). The MY DATA Act seeks to restore consumer control over the information they share online.
Last month, President Trump signed into law S.J. Res. 34, a resolution that rolls back the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) broadband privacy rules designed to protect consumers’ personal information and data.
“I am appalled by Republicans’ continued efforts that weaken consumer protections. Consumers have been left without any control over how their internet providers use the personal information they share online. Now, nothing prevents these companies from selling consumers’ browsing history to the highest bidder, without any notification or permission, even when this involves their financial or health information. The harmful effects for consumers do not stop there. Consumers are also faced with the danger of identity theft and other crimes because their internet providers aren’t required to take reasonable steps to secure their personal information,” said Rep. Jerry McNerney.
Currently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has enforcement authority over unfair or deceptive practices of edge providers, but not of broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Furthermore, due to the FTC’s limited rulemaking authority, it is currently unable to issue the rules needed to protect consumers’ online privacy and data security.
The MY DATA Act provides the FTC with enforcement and rulemaking authority over unfair or deceptive practices (relating to privacy and data security) of both edge providers and broadband ISPs, ensuring the agency has the ability to help protect consumers’ information across the Internet. The MY DATA Act also calls for the FTC to consult with the FCC when developing rules. The authority granted under this bill to the FTC does not remove authority from the FCC or any other agency.
“At a time when there is a loud cry from Americans that they want more control over how the information they share online is used, we must be doing more, not less, to empower and protect consumers,” said Rep. McNerney. “My legislation gives the FTC the authority it needs to provide consumers with strong privacy and data security protections, and also encourages better consultation between the FTC and FCC on these issues.”
Reps. Diana DeGette (CO-01), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Bobby Rush (IL-01), Ro Khanna (CA-17), and Mark Takano (CA-41) are original cosponsors of the bill. H.R. 2356 is the House companion to S. 964, which was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Mark Udall (D-NM).
Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.