Digital Privacy Legislation Proposals

Goals

To provide a list of proposals made by lawmakers in the past 12 months, which aim to regulate FAANGS specifically around digital privacy.

Early Findings

Our initial research indicates that legislative proposals for digital privacy regulation sometimes specifically reference FAANGS (such as the Online Harms White Paper in the UK), and sometimes do not (such as multiple of the draft proposals and bills put forth in the US Congress). However, even those which do not explicitly reference FAANGS are understood to be aimed at Big Tech companies, coming as they do in the wake of the March 2018 Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data privacy breach.

Online Harms White Paper (UK)

  • In April 2019, the Secretary of State for Digital, Cultural, Media & Sport and the Secretary of State for the Home Department in the UK proposed an "ambitious plans for a new system of accountability and oversight for tech companies, moving far beyond self-regulation." The intent of this proposal is to both increase online safety and reduce online harm. Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft are directly named in this proposal.
  • The proposed regulations would impose hefty fines, potential jail for Big Tech executives, and restriction on business operations in the UK.

Draft Proposals in the US Congress

  • In April 2019, an Oregon Senator proposed a draft for Consumer Data Protection Act, which is primarily designed to give greater powers to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), both to create regulation and enforce it. It proposes steep fines and potential jail sentences for senior executives of non-compliant companies.
  • In December 2018, a Hawaiian Senator proposed a bill entitled the Data Care Act of 2018, which would create regulations on how Big Tech companies gather, use and store data collected from end users.
  • In September 2018, a Washington senatior proposed the Information Transparency & Personal Data Control Act, which would regulate the collection of data in various ways (such as how long it can be stored, requiring the consumer to explicitly opt-in to sharing sensitive data, etc). It does not propose additional regulations or penalties additional to those which already exist under the FTC purview.





Proposed next steps:

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As the initial research provided a short list of four readily-available legislative proposals in the US and the UK, we suggest continued research to determine 5-7 additional, recent legislative proposals in other countries.
Additionally, we could also provide a deeper dive into the outcomes/situations of recent proposals. This would entail 3 reports; one to determine the outcomes of the proposals found in initial research, and two reports to find 3-4 additional legislative proposals each, as well as the current outcomes of those proposals.