Senate Democrats are calling on the Federal Commerce Fee to write new rules to guard shopper knowledge privateness in a brand new letter to the company authored on Monday.

The letter, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and signed by eight different Democratic senators, was despatched to FTC Chair Lina Khan Monday, calling on the company to “begin a rulemaking process” on privateness. Particularly, the senators are requesting that the FTC pen new guidelines addressing privateness, civil rights, and the gathering of shopper knowledge.

“Consumer privacy has become a consumer crisis,” the lawmakers wrote. “Tech companies have routinely broken their promises to consumers and neglected their legal obligations, only to receive wrist-slap punishments after long delay, providing little relief to consumers, and with minimal deterrent effect.”

The FTC declined to remark.

The letter comes simply days after President Joe Biden nominated longtime privateness and facial recognition critic Alvaro Bedoya to develop into the third Democratic FTC commissioner. At Georgetown Regulation, Bedoya led analysis into the consequences of applied sciences like facial recognition on minority teams and produced a number of surveys learning the tech’s potential for racial bias.

Bedoya is a professor at Georgetown Regulation’s Middle for Privateness and Know-how, and has beforehand served as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privateness, Know-how and the Regulation below Chairman Sen. Al Franken (D-MN).

The Senate has but to schedule a affirmation listening to for Bedoya, however he would doubtless assist the FTC craft any future rulemakings associated to privateness.

Congress has tried and did not craft its personal knowledge privateness laws over the previous couple of years, and an FTC rulemaking may very well be the federal government’s finest probability at regulating the business in mild of tense partisan divides. In July, the FTC voted to replace the company’s rulemaking procedures in a approach that may make it simpler to situation complete privateness guidelines by itself.

“Consumers deserve strong and enforceable privacy safeguards in the digital economy — opening a rulemaking would be a powerful step toward addressing this long overdue need,” the lawmakers wrote of their Monday letter.


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