Sending Office: Honorable Anna G. Eshoo
Sent By:
Asad.Ramzanali@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to cosponsor H.R. 4978, the Online Privacy Act. This is bold and comprehensive legislation to secure the privacy of every American. As Representatives of Silicon Valley, we’re proud of the countless innovations that have improved the
lives of billions that originate in our region. We also recognize that our country needs a comprehensive privacy law.

Today, the American people are left vulnerable as our private information is stolen, abused, breached, and grossly mishandled. Companies track and sell our most private data, such as our geolocation and the contents of our messages, and they face little
or no consequences when they misuse our information. Our legislation empowers Americans to have control over their data and holds companies accountable.

Specifically, the Online Privacy Act protects individuals, encourages innovation, and takes a major step to restore trust in technology by:

  • Creating User Rights – The bill grants every American the right to access, correct, or delete their data. It also creates new rights, like the right to impermanence, which lets users decide how long companies can keep their data.
  • Placing Clear Obligations on Companies – The bill minimizes the amount of data companies collect, process, disclose, and maintain, and bars companies from using data in discriminatory ways. Companies must also receive consent from users
    in plain, simple language.
  • Establishing a Digital Privacy Agency (DPA) – The bill establishes an independent agency led by a Director that’s appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a five-year term. The DPA will enforce privacy protections and
    investigate abuses. The U.S. is the only developed country that does not have a regulatory agency dedicated to privacy.
  • Strengthening Enforcement – The bill empowers state attorneys general to enforce violations of the bill and allows individuals to appoint nonprofits to represent them in private class action lawsuits.

The bill is supported by several civil society groups and privacy experts, including Public Knowledge; Free Press; the Electronic Privacy Information Center; and Shoshana Zuboff, professor emerita at Harvard Business School and author of
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.

A one-page summary of the bill is included
here
and a section-by-section summary
here
.

Should you have any questions or would like to join as a cosponsor, you can contact Asad Ramzanali with Rep. Eshoo’s office at asad.ramzanali@mail.house.gov, or x5-8104 or ZJ Hull with Rep. Lofgren’s office at zj.hull@mail.house.gov or x5-3072.

 

Most gratefully,

 

Anna G. Eshoo                        Zoe Lofgren

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