Blackburn, Wicker Introduce Federal Data Privacy Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, introduced the Setting an American Framework to Ensure Data Access, Transparency, and Accountability (SAFE DATA) Act. The legislation would provide Americans with more choice and control over their data and direct businesses to be more transparent and accountable for their data practices. The bill would also enhance the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority and provide additional resources to enforce the Act.


“Americans should be able to control their ‘virtual you.’ The increase in cyberattacks and data leaks have made it extremely apparent to consumers that their online data may not be safe. The first step is giving Americans a larger say in how companies are collecting and using their information,” said Blackburn. 

“With the recent increase in cyberattacks on our nation’s critical infrastructure and the ongoing efforts to expand internet services to every American, the need for federal privacy legislation is imperative,” said Wicker. “We risk losing consumers’ confidence in the internet marketplace and undermining our national security and technological leadership abroad without a federal privacy law. My bill would provide all consumers across the country with the same strong protections while ensuring innovation and competition remain a foundational principle to our economic advancements.” 

The SAFE DATA Act would:

  • Provide Americans with more choice and control over their data by:
    • Requiring businesses to allow consumers to access, correct, delete, and port their data;
    • Prohibiting businesses from processing or transferring consumers’ sensitive data without their consent;
    • Prohibiting businesses from denying consumers products or services for exercising their privacy rights;
    • Minimizing the amount of consumer data businesses can collect, process, and retain;
    • Limiting secondary uses of consumer data without their consent;
    • Establishing uniform data protections across the country enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general;
  • Direct businesses to be more transparent and accountable for their data practices by:
    • Requiring businesses to disclose a privacy policy to consumers detailing their data collection, processing, and transfer activities, and notify consumers of any material changes to those activities;
    • Requiring businesses to conduct privacy impact assessments of data processing activities that may present a heightened risk of harm to consumers;
    • Requiring businesses to secure consumers’ data and maintain internal controls and reporting structures to assess data privacy risks to consumers; and
    • Prohibiting businesses from processing data in ways that violate federal Civil Rights laws.
  • Strengthen the FTC’s ability to respond to potentially harmful changes in technology and hold businesses accountable for misusing consumers’ data by:
    • Authorizing the FTC to develop new rules to expand categories of sensitive data;
    • Requiring the FTC to share any information with the appropriate Executive or State agency if it obtains information that a business has processed or transferred consumer data in a way that violates Federal anti-discrimination laws;
    • Requiring the FTC to maintain a data broker registry; and
    • Expanding the FTC’s authority to oversee the data use practices of common carriers and nonprofit organizations.

Click here to read the bill.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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