Rep Collins releases principles to protect online data property and privacy

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) released guiding principles for legislation he plans to draft and introduce to protect online data as the property of consumers and establish privacy protections for online users. “When consumers generate data, they should have a powerful voice in who gets to use it, how much of it is used and under what conditions. Since it’s their property, consumers should also determine how much privacy they want surrounding their data,” Rep Collins said. The following principles will guide the bill draft, which Rep Collins plans to introduce this Congress:

  • Establish a federally-recognized class of online data property that includes data consumers generate on online platforms and devices — such as search data, location data, data about their responses to advertising and data included in their online posts — essentially, all the online data that makes up their “Virtual You;”
  • Recognize in federal law that this data is the property of the consumers who generate it;
  • Enable consumers to oversee the commercial use of their data property and to preclude the use of their data should they choose to do so; and
  • Include protections for uses of data generated before the bill’s enactment, for data belonging to users who are minors and for other uses of data — while not unduly disturbing settled legal doctrine, including in the area of law enforcement.

Collins releases principles to protect online data property and privacy