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New US Privacy Bill Would Intro Jail Time for CEOs

A US senator has introduced a new privacy bill which he claims goes further than the EU’s GDPR, introducing prison sentences for culpable CEOs.

Introduced by Ron Wyden, the Mind Your Own Business Act would create a national “Do Not Track” system enabling consumers to stop companies from tracking them online, selling or sharing their data, or targeting ads based on personal information.

Like the GDPR, it would issue maximum fines of up to 4% of annual revenue to non-compliant firms, but unlike the EU law, could also levy 10-20 year criminal sentences for executives who knowingly lie to the FTC.

“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.”

Other provisions in the bill include: the levying of new tax penalties on CEOs who lie about privacy protections; a requirement for firms to conduct privacy assessments on the algorithms that process consumer data; and the establishing of new privacy and cybersecurity standards.

However, it’s unlikely the legislation will become law. In the meantime, states are enacting their pwn privacy laws, with California leading the way.

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