Intel said today that it was looking for a sponsor in Congress for the U.S. Data Privacy Act it drafted for Sina Technologies News in the evening of November 7, Beijing time.
According to the draft proposal, companies could be exempted from fines if they could prove to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) every year that they had done enough to protect consumer data.
However, the federal and state governments can still force companies to adjust their data privacy policies, or even demand compensation from companies. This week, Intel has begun discussing the draft with members of Congress.
For Silicon Valley technology companies, it would be a great victory to avoid civil action. But at the same time, they must be cautious when dealing with user data. Because according to the draft, "recidivists" will lose this protection, and executives who make false certificates may also face criminal proceedings.
David Hoffman, Intel's global privacy officer, said executives were worried that imprisonment would push consumers to get the best privacy protection. Hoffman also said that in the past five years, growing concerns about consumer privacy have led to a regression in electronic medical records and educational data systems.
Marc Groman, a law professor at Georgetown University and a former senior White House privacy adviser, said Intel's proposal should be taken seriously.
Today, data privacy has become an urgent political issue in the United States. Technological companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter have been questioned by Congress.
In Europe, the new data privacy act GDPR came into effect in May this year. The legislation aims to give EU residents more control over personal data. If a company fails to comply with this regulation, it will face a fine of up to 4% of its annual global turnover.
By contrast, the maximum penalty for Intel's proposal is US $1 billion. (Li Ming)
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