U.S. Senator Ron Wyden pitches bill giving jail time to executives whose companies violate online privacy


Online privacy and online security continue to be a hot topic and will be for the foreseeable future. The ever-growing digital world brings new challenges and security concerns for everyone. Tech companies who harvest user data for profit are among the most vulnerable and need to have excellent protections in place for that data. Now, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D) from Oregon is purposing a new bill that would deal out jail time to executives whose companies violate online privacy.

Senator Ron Wyden isn’t only pitching jail time but also billions of dollars in fines on companies and executives who enable privacy breaches. The senior senator from Oregon believes that privacy and data breaches are corporate fraud and should be dealt with accordingly.

The purposed bill would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) power to establish privacy and cybersecurity standards companies would have to abide by. Once those are established, any company or executive breaking those standards would be subject to hefty fines and jail time.

“The point is the Federal Trade Commission on privacy issues thus far has basically been toothless. I am trying to recreate this agency for the digital era.

“What we are essentially advocating is what the big financial services firms have to do under Sarbanes-Oxley.”

Senator Ron Wyden to The Oregonian/OregonLive
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According to The Oregonian/OregonLive, the 38-page bill says it would:

  • Establish a “do not track” option for people using online services. In lieu of allowing their search history, social media favorites and online activity to be sold to advertisers, people could opt to pay an unspecified fee to preserve their privacy.
  • Authorize the FTC to establish privacy and cybersecurity standards and require big companies to report annually on their privacy practices.
  • Penalize large companies that submit false information in their annual privacy report. Penalties could amount to 4 percent of annual revenue – a number that could run in the billions of dollars for the biggest social media companies. Executives could face jail time up to 20 years.
  • Require companies to assess their algorithms for accuracy, fairness, bias and discrimination.

It’s an interesting bill and set of ideas but we think Senator Ron Wyden is going to be in for a battle. Only time will tell if this gets passed or shot down. Head over to the source link below to read more.

What do you think about this bill Senator Ron Wyden is pitching? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.

[button link=”https://www.oregonlive.com/silicon-forest/2019/02/wyden-pitches-jail-time-billions-in-fines-for-online-privacy-violators-with-do-not-track-bill.html” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: OregonLive[/button]

Last Updated on February 3, 2021.


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