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Schatz Statement On FTC Privacy Rulemaking

HONOLULU – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D- Hawai‘i) today released the following statement after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it is seeking public comment on the harms stemming from commercial surveillance and whether new rules are needed to protect people’s privacy and information.

“The status quo on data privacy has left consumers with hundreds of microdecisions for each new website or app we visit that we are somehow supposed to make informed choices about. It is high time we move past this notice and consent model and ensure that the Big Tech companies that monetize our personal information are stopped from using our data in ways that harm us. I am glad to see the Commission kickoff a process asking questions about fixing the physical, mental, and reputational harms caused by these data practices, as I and others have called for, and in considering bright line limits on what types of data companies collect and keep. I am also heartened to see the FTC is scrutinizing discrimination in the algorithms that Americans interact with every day and that pose significant risks when used negligently or maliciously.”

Senator Schatz has led calls encouraging the FTC to do more on privacy and ensure accountability for use of algorithms. Last year, he reintroduced the Data Care Act, legislation which would require websites, apps, and other online providers to take responsible steps to safeguard personal information and stop the misuse of users’ data, and the Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency (PACT) Act, which would empower the FTC to make platforms’ manual and automated content moderation practices more transparent and prevent companies from using Section 230 as a defense against government, including the FTC and Department of Justice, civil actions to protect consumers.