U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and more than one dozen other Democratic senators on Wednesday reintroduced legislation intended to protect personal data online.

The Data Care Act, according to a press release from Schatz’s office, “would require websites, apps, and other online providers to take responsible steps to safeguard personal information and stop the misuse of users’ data.”

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in Honolulu in 2017. He has again introduced federal legislation to protect the personal date of online users. Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

“People have a basic expectation that the personal information that is collected by websites and apps is well-protected and won’t be used to harm them,” said Schatz, the top Democrat on the Senate Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet Subcommittee. “Just as doctors and lawyers are expected to protect and responsibly use the personal data they hold, online companies should be required to do the same. Our bill will help make sure that when people give online companies their information, it won’t be abused.”

The Data Care Act is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

Schatz first introduced the act in December 2018, but it was never acted on in the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

The Hawaii senator is a minority member of that committee, which is controlled by the Republicans who run the Senate.

Something to consider...

Civil Beat is a small, independent newsroom that provides free content with no paywall. That means readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism.

The truth is that less than 2% of our monthly readers are financial supporters. To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.

Will you consider making a tax-deductible gift today?

About the Author