Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., has introduced a consumer data privacy bill that would require online service providers to provide “opt-in” rights to consumers whose “sensitive personal information or behavioral data” they collect, store, process, sell, or share with third parties.

Those opt-in rights would be provided through a privacy and data use policy, would apply to United States-based persons or others located in the United States when their data is collected, and would require that users “provide affirmative, express, and opt in consent to any functionality” that involves collection, storage, processing, sale, sharing or other use of sensitive personal data.

The privacy and data use policy would have to be, among other things, intelligible, clear, prominent, constructed of “clear and plain language,” and available free of charge. The policy would also have to feature the identity of the entity collecting the data, the purpose for collecting, how and why data may be shared with third parties and their identities, and the period for how long personal data will be retained. The policy also must explain how consumer can withdraw their consent and opt out of data collection agreements.

Exemptions to those requirements would include to those relating to fraud detection and prevention, protection of the security of “people, devices, networks, or facilities,” and responding in “good faith to valid legal process” or providing information as otherwise required by law.

The bill–entitled the Information Transparency & Personal Data Control Act–would require the Federal Trade Commission to draw up appropriate regulations for the bill within one year of its passage.

“With Americans spending roughly 24 hours per week online, and a quarter of people saying they’re on the internet almost constantly, it’s our job to ensure consumers have a clear understanding of what happens to their data,” said Rep. DelBene in a statement.

It’s unclear whether the House bill has any Senate companion measure.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.