back to article US draft bill moots locking up execs who lie about privacy violations

Company bosses could be thrown in jail for up to 20 years if they aren't straight with US regulators about privacy violations under a law drafted by senator Ron Wyden. The Democrat has proposed a new privacy bill for the US, with the short title of the Consumer Data Protection Act (PDF), which aims to address the hole in …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ron Wyden Yearly Net Worth

    Year Average Net Worth

    2004 $1,789,113

    2012 $7,294,025

    Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee

    Lawyers/Law Firms $1,766,760

    Health Professionals $1,294,882

    Securities & Investment $1,281,980

    Real Estate $1,003,493

    Pro-Israel $768,357

    They work for you my American amigos.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Not sure what that's supposed to mean. All US representatives / senators are generally quite well off before getting elected in the first place and/or need a large chunk of contributions to get elected.

      If you're trying to imply that this bill is the result of corporate lobbying I think you're way off the mark. As explained in the article, the bill would actually be a great step ahead for consumer privacy, and if there is any fierce corporate lobbying involved I expect it to be AGAINST the bill.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @jmhc

        The system does not work when those in power neither represent or are part of the people they are supposed to, same goes for the republicans. They are both as bad as each other. This bill and all others are fluff.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > "This bill and all others are fluff."

          I disagree. Wyden is a loyal Democrat, but he's smart and sees that soon the Republicans will start to legislate these issues, reining in the tech giants, particulary if they hold onto the House. He would prefer to control and limit that conversation, thus his current proposal.

          1. Mephistro Silver badge
            Coffee/keyboard

            "...soon the Republicans will start to legislate these issues, reining in the tech giants, particulary if they hold onto the House."

            Yeah, just like they've reigned in the telcos and the oil companies, eh?

          2. Palpy

            @Big John: "soon the Republicans will start to legislate these issues..."

            No they won't. They put ex-Verizon industry shill Ajit Pai in charge of the FCC precisely in order to destroy any effective oversight that agency might have otherwise attempted. Republicans will continue to deregulate, and will not "rein in the tech giants" -- or any other corporate entity.

          3. JohnFen Silver badge

            "soon the Republicans will start to legislate these issues, reining in the tech giants, particulary if they hold onto the House"

            This is the funniest thing I've heard today. Thank you!

          4. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Meh

            "soon the Republicans will start to legislate these issues"

            well I'll have to disagree with you on this one. The current position of the Republican party is SMALLER government and FEWER (better) regulations. Making more is probably NOT the answer, anyway.

            That being said, the existing Federal Trade Commission laws may be enough on their own, if properly applied. FTC applies to banking and privacy already. Extending that to intarweb traffic wouldn't be all that difficult, and would provide the _same_ kinds of protection we get against banks selling our information to 3rd parties without our permission.

            I suspect that punishing corporations in order to make headlines and pander to left-leaning voters isn't the primary focus of the Republican party (yeah no duh). Anti-trust _HAS_ been important to Republicans, since Teddy Roosevelt, as well as a "fair playing field" for competing businesses. So it'll get done, eventually. But it's not an emergency to rush to legislation with it, not like some of the other issues that have been getting handled over the last 2 years [like recovering the economy, fixing foreign policy, and "draining the swamp"].

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              "The current position of the Republican party is SMALLER government and FEWER (better) regulations."

              Really? Those are the noises they make, but their actions tell a very different story.

            2. strum Silver badge

              >The current position of the Republican party is SMALLER government

              Not really. They just want to replace elected government with corporate government. That power doesn't just dissipate into thin air, if you take it away from 'da gummint'. It will be wielded by others, with no democratic restraint.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Sadly you are talking to a bunch of npc remoaners here, that think (R)<Insert Name> is both orange, and bad. So how jolly well dare you poke holes into their bubbles?

      1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
        FAIL

        "npc remoaners"

        Shhhhh, adults are talking.

      2. Sandtitz Silver badge
        WTF?

        @Michael Habel

        "Sadly you are talking to a bunch of npc remoaners here"

        I don't understand how you see the commenters here as non-player-characters. Are you a solipsist?

        ...and do you actually have a stance on this proposed law?

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: @Sandtitz

          "solipsist"

          I had to look that up, learning something new every day... ( Even if it exists only in my mind) :-)

      3. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Sadly you are talking to a bunch.....

        @ Yawn, Michael Habel

        One anonymous coward posts first with a cynical stance and you can deduce from that the position general pro-europe (or rather anti-mental UK gov) are going to take for the rest of the discussion.

        Tell me, do you think you were Nostradamus in a previous life??

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yes I was Nostradamus in a previous life.

          When the food wars (2024) start I'll be sat here laughing at you all. Those with cash think they are safe, good luck to them I say. Who is going to bring you the food smart arses?

          P.S. Big John can go sit on the border, you think the problem is them coming to you? I think not.

    3. Skwosh

      Oh man - I mean those politicians eh - they're all liars and the whole system is corrupt through and through - no point troubling our poor little heads with any actual arguments for or against anything a politician proposes really is there - especially if it might impact the ability of those nice internet advertising funded companies to continue to make shed-loads of money out of lovingly mind-controlling us into buying really cool products and services that enrich our lives. Those companies are just so cool aren't they! All that free stuff they give us - and they fight so valiantly to keep the internet free for everyone else too. I mean, really, if I think about it, there's just no contest between horrible self-serving so called democratically elected politicians in so called governments compared to the cool kids who work for giving caring companies like Google and FaceBook. Everyone knows those companies are run by well meaning goofy nerds who just want the best for everyone and to make the internet fun and cool and free. They just want to help us out. Actually, they should really be in charge of everything shouldn't they? How can all those horrid, old, boring, corrupt politicians possibly be better at anything than those super smart, super generous kids? It's all pretty simple really when I think about it.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      Lawyer contributors

      Lawyer's contributing to this guy... this is the part that concerns me the most... because my first instinct when looking at this is that "only the L[aw]Yers will profit from it". ACLU-types are NOT working in the best interest of America (as with Demo[n,c][R,r]ats] in general. As such, I mis-trust them instinctively.

      And a "do not track" web site will (most likely) be as ineffective as the "do not call list" has been. As much as I like the idea, it's not enforced well enough to stop the problem. I can already see web site operators scoffing at it and making 'token' lookups of "you" on the list, while grossly violating it >90% of the time, and maybe even using it as a 'verified' list of VALID e-mails and identities!!!

      And the addition of "teeth" into a "do not track" seems WAY too invasive to companies that might be doing things legitimately [let's say you subscribe to a service that tracks your purchases online in order to comp you with discounts...]. Just hit them where the board members care about it, a combination of their company reputation along with some financial "incentives", like INDIVIDUAL "loser pay" lawsuits they're constantly forced to settle if they engage in bad behavior like that. [it helped with GWX didn't it?]

      And they REALLY care about privacy, they should ONLY allow "opt in". "Opt out" doesn't work.

  2. Craig 2

    How about a law locking up politicians who lie? Yea, thought they wouldn't be so eager on that score...

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      How about a law locking up politicians who lie? Yea, thought they wouldn't be so eager on that score...

      Then 'ol Hilldog would have been thown in the Pound with her old man, some 20-odd years ago surly?

      1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
        FAIL

        What a sad case of Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          We would definately lock them up if they told the truth.....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            But how can we be sure they are telling the truth?

            1. Khaptain Silver badge

              But how can we be sure they are telling the truth?

              Because the truth would smack you hard....very hard...

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Not sure if that One was directed to my person (or, not), but, I think that one would be more accurate of the Leftist MSM Shrills and above all C(linton) News Network.

          And, while we're on this note... Any guesses on which President was the last one to be impeached was? Yes he was impeeched. Alas it faild to remove said President from Office at that time. So tell me more about how how you lot want to impeach the Orange Man again?

          Oh yeah that reminds me of a certain Hastag... What was it again? #beliveALLwomen

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        you Americans really make me chuckle

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'm not sure about a central opt-out register. It's an all eggs in one basket affair. At present one of the options we have in our defence is to set up variations on details such as email addresses, physical addresses, dates of birth and all the rest of the stuff to make it more difficult to combine data. A central register means that the user would have to give details of their account on that register to each site with which they connect. It becomes a single point of failure tracking.

  4. Wolfclaw Silver badge

    Bosses at Google, Facebook, <insert any other megacorp> better check out local soft prisons have decent wifi for the bosses to work from their new homes, but I doubt the law it will see the light of day, politicians will be fudged off with vague promises of self-regulation or plain old bought off with quiet brown envelopes with donations.for re-election fund.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      It won't matter what the people since we're just dumb voters. What's really important is what the companies want especially those with deep pockets.

      Wyden seems to be one of the few elected officials who actually thinks and understands tech and privacy. Sadly, those CongressCritters who are puppets to the corporates will make sure this bill gets buried and never, ever dug up.

  5. Daedalus Silver badge

    A little more checking please

    Bills get introduced all the time. The big question is how many sponsors they have where they are introduced, and whether the leadership of that branch of the legislature will let them move forward.

    Note that this "draft bill" arrives just before an election. It's doubtful if there will be any debate about it before the end of this Congress, or whether it will be re-submitted in the next one in January.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: A little more checking please

      This strikes me as trial balloon to see how it fares overall with the public, politicos, and tech industry. Wyden is serious but the timing means it is highly unlikely it will get to Trump before the end of the session. But as a trial balloon, it is excellent timing as it will get a discussion going before the next session when the real bill can be introduced.

      Wyden is doing another thing; he is telling the tech industry your antics are destructive to people and there will be a feral level law sooner or later. Unless you want 50 different laws to deal with come talk with me but you will need to grow up and act like adults.

  6. LordHighFixer

    I voted for him.

    I have known the Senator since he was just a puppy (over 30 years), he is a good guy with good intentions and supports the wishes of the people he represents. He is one of the few politicians that has earned my respect.

    I hope this bill gets through the process as written. If not,, it should give some people something to think about, much like the GDPR has.

    And for bonus points, he is not orange.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: I voted for him.

      30 Years?! That could be the problem... If we (thankfully), have term limmits for those who wish to be President. Then there should also be limmits on those who serve in the Congress as well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I voted for him.

        "30 Years?! That could be the problem..."

        Well, he hasn't always been a Senator.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Wyden

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: I voted for him.

        "If we (thankfully), have term limmits for those who wish to be President. Then there should also be limmits on those who serve in the Congress as well."

        I guess I shouldn't pay attention to anyone who cannot spell the word 'limits', but there are no limits for those who wish to be President, only term limits for those who are.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I voted for him.

      Judging by what's getting downvoted, I suspect more than few corporate shills are reading El Reg today.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: I voted for him.

        "more than few corporate shills freedom-loving, sensible people who believe in less government are reading El Reg today."

        Fixed It For Ya.

  7. Drew Scriver

    No "right to be forgotten"

    The draft seems to significantly differ from the GDPR in scope. Most notably, it does not seem to include a "right to be forgotten".

    https://www.wyden.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Consumer%20Data%20Protection%20Act%20section%20by%20section.pdf

    Oddly, there already is a bill with the same name (S.2188 - Consumer Data Protection Act/H.R.4544 Consumer Data Protection Act), also submitted by a Democrat. Poor coordination?

    It's also a bit strange that there is no co-sponsor yet. Wyden isn't on the ballot this year, so it's unlikely that the release date is related to Tuesday's elections.

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2188

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: No "right to be forgotten"

      no 'right to be forgotten' - this is an EXCELLENT point!

      If GDPR-like legislation were to be made in the USA, it would _NEED_ a "right to be forgotten" requirement on any 'opt-in' or 'not-opt-out' data collection, including for those who do NOT subscribe to a service [such as anonymous users of google, fa[e]ceb[ook,itch] and Tw[a,i]tter and anything else that has a scripty icon on a typical web site].

      This actually *kinda* makes my point that the proposed legislation was intended to ENRICH L[aw]YERS and pander to specific anti-corporation voters, and that's about it.

      Real protection: not a bit.

      The existing FTC requirements on banks disclosing selling your info to 3rd parties should be sufficient, I think, plus a "forget me" process that's simple for web sites.

    2. Daedalus Silver badge

      Re: No "right to be forgotten"

      Oddly, there already is a bill with the same name (S.2188 - Consumer Data Protection Act/H.R.4544 Consumer Data Protection Act), also submitted by a Democrat. Poor coordination?

      Nothing odd or poorly coordinated about it. It's common for each chamber to start its own bill. For one thing, if each goes to debate, then the respective sponsors will have an idea how they are going to fare before the final bill is put to both chambers. Of course this involves the dreaded Conference Committee, where a small minority of congress-critters essentially has carte blanche to do what they want and present the result to both chambers on a take it or leave it basis.

      1. Drew Scriver

        Re: No "right to be forgotten"

        The existing Consumer Data Protection Act bill do have counterparts in both the House and the Senate, so it would still seem odd to now introduce a completely different bill under an identical name.

        Wyden is a senator, so I would expect his bill to be introduced there first - alongside its namesake.

  8. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Be a Banker instead

    Bankers face no penalties for securities violations that cost the country billions of dollars.

  9. Garymrrsn
    Flame

    a Do Not Track data sharing opt-out website

    Which, if it actually comes to be, will be just as useless as the Do Not Call website. As a previous comment asserted, this bill is fluff, and I shall add, proposed on the eve of an election as vote bait.

  10. rcxb

    Theatre

    A senator in the minority party (which doesn't control the house, senate, or the presidency) proposes a strict privacy law a few days before a major election? I'm sure it'll sail right through.

  11. Wellyboot Silver badge

    Pay to Play.

    >>>This fee "shall not be greater than the amount of monetary gain the covered entity would have earned had the average consumer not opted-out," the bill said. It doesn't detail how this might be calculated or assessed by the regulator.<<<

    It can be another reporting line in the annual accounts.

    From the detailed accounts - find the 'Data sales income' then divide by the number of non-paying 'customers' they hold data on. I'm sure they're tracking that information quite diligently.

    Proving the 'no data sale' of individuals will require auditing by regulators.

  12. W Donelson

    All moot.

    Big business would never allow passage of this act.

  13. EnviableOne Bronze badge

    politics needs more Ron Wydens

    If anything vaguley sensible and tech related comes off the hill, you can be sure Mr Wyden wil be involved.

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