#Privacy: CEOs could get jail time for violating privacy bill

US Senator Roy Wyden (D-OR) has introduced a new data privacy bill whereby businesses could face much harsher penalties for privacy violations. 

The bill, known as the Mind Your Own Business Act will contain the most comprehensive protections for Americans’ private data and will go further than the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

The Mind Your Own Business Act will empower the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by allowing them to establish minimum privacy and cybersecurity standards.

The bill will also give the FTC power to issue steep fines (up to 4% of annual revenue) on the first offense for companies. Senior executives who have knowingly lied to the FTC could face 20-20 year criminal penalties. 

Additionally, a national Do Not Track system will be created, thus enabling customers to shop companies from tracking them, selling or sharing their data, or even being targeted by advertisements based on their personal information. 

Other provisions include giving consumers a way to review the personal information a company has about them, and know whom it has been shared or sold to. 

“Mark Zuckerberg won’t take Americans’ privacy seriously unless he feels personal consequences. A slap on the wrist from the FTC won’t do the job, so under my bill he’d face jail time for lying to the government,” Wyden said. 

“I spent the past year listening to experts and strengthening the protections in my bill. It is based on three basic ideas: Consumers must be able to control their own private information, companies must provide vastly more transparency about how they use and share our data, and corporate executives need to be held personally responsible when they lie about protecting our personal information.”

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