Press Release

New Comprehensive Privacy Bill Provides a Roadmap for Consumer Protection

November 18, 2021

Today, Representatives Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren re-introduced the Online Privacy Act.

This bill places obligations on companies to protect users’ data, establishes a new federal agency to enforce privacy protections, and strengthens enforcement of privacy law violations.

Public Knowledge welcomes the bill, which provides a thorough foundation for protecting consumer data in the digital era.

The following can be attributed to Sara Collins, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Public Knowledge applauds this bill, which offers a roadmap for how a strong federal privacy law could be built. It provides strong substantive rights and protections for all consumers, and encourages competition through private and secure data portability requirements.

“We are concerned about the bill’s reliance on individuals providing consent, which places the burden on consumers to figure out what uses of data are beneficial or harmful. However, there are strong safeguards that require consent to be freely given, and prohibit the use of ‘dark patterns’ designed to manipulate user behavior. The data minimization requirements will ensure that companies only collect the data they need, and get rid of data once it becomes unnecessary for their business.

“While more restrictions on how data can be used would be welcome, this bill would be a substantial improvement over the status quo. We look forward to working with Reps. Eshoo and Lofgren as they continue to perfect their bill.”