Online privacy bill easily passes US House panel

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WASHINGTON: A U.S. House of Representatives panel on Thursday (June 23) passed a bipartisan online privacy bill that seeks to limit the collection of personal data, though doubts remain over whether it will become law.

The bill would require companies like Alphabet’s Google and Meta’s Facebook, along with a long list of others, to collect only the personal data necessary to provide services. Sensitive information such as social security numbers would receive even greater protection.

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The measure easily passed a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee in a voice vote. It is now referred to the committee of the whole.

Previous attempts to pass privacy legislation have been stymied by a buzz of opposition from tech companies, which provide free services using consumer data for advertising purposes. Much of the debate over these bills centered on whether federal law would prevail over state laws, which are sometimes stricter, or whether individuals would be allowed to sue for violations of life. private.

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The bill’s fate is uncertain given that it is being criticized by powerful Senate Democrats, including Senator Maria Cantwell, who does not believe the bill’s enforcement is strong enough.

The main sponsors are Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone and Representative Jan Schakowsky, both Democrats, as well as Republican Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Gus Bilirakis.

“Today’s markup is another important step toward our ultimate goal of passing meaningful national privacy legislation,” Pallone said.

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