US House passes bill to protect privacy

US House passes bill to protect privacy

A bipartisan online privacy bill was passed by the US House of Representatives on Thursday, but doubts remain as to whether it will become law.

The bill would require companies like Alphabet's Google and Meta's Facebook to only collect personal data necessary to provide services. The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee passed the measure on a voice vote. It is now going to the full committee.

The attempts to pass privacy legislation were blocked by a buzzsaw of opposition from tech companies, who provide free services by using consumer data for advertising. There was a debate over whether or not federal legislation would preempt state laws, which are sometimes stronger, or whether individuals would be allowed to sue in the case of privacy violations.

The bill's fate is uncertain because of the criticism from powerful Senate Democrats, including Senator Maria Cantwell, who doesn't believe the bill's enforcement is strong enough.

The Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone along with Representative Jan Schakowsky are both Democrats, as well as Republican Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Gus Bilirakis.

Pallone said that today's markup was another milestone towards our ultimate goal of enacting meaningful national privacy legislation.