WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior Democratic U.S. senator on Thursday unveiled draft legislation that would allow hefty fines and as much as 20-year prison terms for executives who violate privacy and cybersecurity standards.
The Senator’s proposal would dramatically beef up Federal Trade Commission authority and funding to crack down on privacy violations, let consumers opt out of having their sensitive personal data collected and sold, and impose harsh new penalties on a massive data monetization industry that has for years claimed that self-regulation is all that’s necessary to protect consumer privacy.
We look forward to a confirmed hearing date with a diverse panel of witnesses from academia, advocacy, and state consumer protection authorities. Senator Schatz questioned whether companies were coming to Congress simply to block state privacy laws and raised the prospect of creating an actual federal privacy regulator with broad authority.
Last month several Senate Democrats criticized Kavanaugh’s views on net neutrality, highlighting a dissent he wrote in a case that upheld the 2015 Open Internet Order, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule that enshrined the internet protections and was rescinded last year by the Republican-controlled agency.
One email from Kavanaugh, who was working at the White House at the time, to John Yoo at the Justice Department in September 2001, appears to directly contradict Kavanaugh's claims (made under oath) not to have heard about the warrantless surveillance program known as Stellar Wind until it was exposed in an article in 2005.