A new bill from U.S. Sen. Rick Scott looks to give consumers some protections against tech companies.
The Data and Algorithm Transparency Agreement Act would require companies with more than 30 million subscribers (such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter) to have express consent before using personal information and also offers a cause to action should those rights be violated.
The bill, should it become law, would require user consent to track usage data or other indicators of the “user’s preferences, habits, etc.” It would allow people the right to revoke or withdraw prior consent and to call for the erasure of data upon the consumer’s request.
Consent would also be required before sharing or selling data to third-party vendors. And a plain language notice would be on the login screen to let consumers know their rights.
“Currently, tech companies capitalize on algorithms to manipulate users, pushing them toward content the algorithm believes they would like or be interested in. These companies are also gathering massive amounts of personal data — and users have little to no control over how their data is used,” asserts a media release on behalf of the legislation.
“The way big tech companies gather, manipulate and sell Americans’ personal data, all without consequence, is alarming. These are the same companies that censor free speech, and pick and choose which viewpoints are allowed on their platform,” Scott said in the release.
“We have to hold these companies accountable and protect the rights of Americans,” he added. “That’s why I’m introducing the DATA Act to require greater transparency in how big tech collects and uses our personal information, and to provide a recourse for Americans if their privacy is violated. The DATA Act finally gives Americans a say in what happens with their personal information.”