The Obama administration’s proposal to buckle down on data protection gained some traction this week as several Senators echoed their support for new, more comprehensive legislation.
According to a recent PCWorld report, members of the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday agreed there is a need for a stronger data breach law that would establish a national standard for organizations that suffer data security failures.
Earlier this year, the Obama administration proposed new legislation that would consolidate the 47 state data breach laws currently in effect. The proposed legislation would, the administration has said, simplify the “patchwork” of laws currently in effect by establishing one standard for businesses to follow.
Additionally, the White House said, the single law would enable consumers to protect themselves better against identity theft, as organizations would be required to notify them promptly of a security breach.
“I want ordinary consumers to know what’s being done with their personal information, and I want to give them the power to do something about that,” said Democrat Senator John Rockefeller during a committee hearing.
However, even as Senators agreed that a notification bill was needed, they could not come to terms with legislation regarding online data privacy.
Several bills have been introduced to the Senate that propose greater data control for consumers. Rockefeller, for example, has proposed legislation that includes a “do not track” option, which would allow consumers to opt out of online tracking. Senator John Kerry has also introduced a bill that would require online companies to provide consumers with more information about how their personal data is used.
It appears, however, that lawmakers are not yet ready to address these issues, nor the implications they might have for the Internet as a whole.
“On the broad issue of privacy, I’m not sure there’s a broad consensus. I’m sure no one on the committee wants to break the Internet,” said Republican Senator Pat Toomey.