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A US senator has proposed a privacy law that could issue steep fines to companies and send their top executives to prison for up to 20 years if they violate Americans’ privacy.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. announced a discussion draft of his Consumer Data Protection Act yesterday. The bill would establish new privacy rules that major companies must follow and establish fines and prison sentences big enough to make even the largest companies take notice.
Consumers would have the right to opt out of systems that share their data with third parties. Companies that don’t follow the proposed law could be fined up to 4 percent of annual revenue on their first offense. The FTC currently is unable to fine first-time corporate offenders, and “fines for subsequent violations of the law are tiny, and not a credible deterrent,” Wyden’s bill summary says.