New Bill Would Offer Social Media Protections

Advertising Law

In the latest legislative proposal addressing consumer privacy, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced a bill that would provide social media users with more control over their data.

The Social Media Privacy Protection and Consumer Rights Act would give users the right to opt out of having their data collected and the power to request copies of what data about them has been collected and shared. Online platforms would be required to have a privacy program in place, make their terms of service easily understandable and delete consumer data upon request.

In addition, sites would have just 72 hours to inform users of any privacy violations or data breaches.

The Federal Trade Commission has enforcement authority (the measure provides explicit authorization for the agency to regulate common carriers), as well as state attorneys general.

“Every day companies profit off of the data they’re collecting from Americans, yet leave consumers completely in the dark about how their personal information, online behavior, and private messages are being used,” Sen. Klobuchar said in a statement about the measure. “The digital space can’t keep operating like the Wild West at the expense of our privacy.”

S. 2728 was introduced just two days after Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) shared the Customer Online Notification for Stopping Edge-provider Network Transgressions (CONSENT) Act with Congress. That bill would mandate that companies obtain consumers’ explicit consent to use or share their personal information, that they develop “reasonable” security practices, and that they notify users about data breaches.

Both measures are currently pending before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

To read the Social Media Privacy Protection and Consumer Rights Act, click here.

Why it matters: Both pieces of legislation reflect a current push for increased consumer privacy rights with a focus on increased regulation of social media. The Association of National Advertisers recently expressed concern about the legislation. “Sometimes the cure can make the disease worse,” ANA EVP of Government Relations Dan Jaffe told MediaPost. “What we do should be very, very carefully thought out.”



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