US lawmakers have proposed the bipartisan American Privacy Rights Act that would govern the amount of data tech companies can collect on their customers.

The proposed act was signed by Senate Commerce Committee Chair, Maria Cantwell, and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

In a joint statement Cantwell and Rodgers stated that the proposed act would eliminate the current “patchwork” of state-by-state data legislation for a single cohesive protective act for all Americans.

The proposed act would give users the option of opting out of targeted advertising and require Big Tech companies to disclose when a user’s data is given to third parties.

The US Federal Trade Commission could create a new bureau specifically for data privacy if this act is passed.

Both Cantwell and Rodgers stated that the act would create “robust enforcement mechanisms” for companies that violate the legislation’s guidelines.

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“This bipartisan, bicameral draft legislation is the best opportunity we’ve had in decades to establish a national data privacy and security standard,” stated Cantwell and Rodgers.

“Americans deserve the right to control their data and we’re hopeful that our colleagues in the House and Senate will join us in getting this legislation signed into law,” they said.

The US does not currently have one singular act to protect its citizens’ online data. The current US Privacy Act of 1975 only gives citizens the right to access personal data stored by government agencies.

Laura Petrone, principal analyst at research and analysis company GlobalData, called the draft legislation a remarkable achievement that signalled a need for comprehensive data protection in the US.

Petrone remarked that it was especially critical to create data protection in the emerging age of AI.

“The draft bill includes some critical measures in the AI era, such as establishing annual reviews of algorithms to ensure they don’t put individuals at risk of harm,” she said.

“The acceleration of AI and the emergence of generative AI have brought the need to address privacy protection and improve data management to the fore. This may well be why a bipartisan compromise has finally emerged,” stated Petrone.