Federal Privacy Legislation 2022

Congress is considering several privacy bills this year — and there’s a lot of desire to pass something, so it might actually happen.  Here’s a quick run-down of some of what’s on the table:

  • The American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) is a consumer privacy bill which combines strong civil rights protections and good features like data minimization with a very weak private right of action and some other problematic clauses — including pre-empting future state privacy laws.  Privacy and civil rights groups say it needs to be strengthened; big tech and their allies are trying to weaken it. Federal privacy legislation: It’ll be an interesting summer! has more.  The bill had its first hearing in mid-June.
  • The Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA), currently being revised by sponsor Senator Maria Cantwell, has a stronger private right of action than ADPPA, and doesn’t pre-empt future state privacy laws.  A hearing is expected later in June.
  • The Health and Location Data Protection Act  (HLDPA) bans data brokers from selling Americans’ location and health data.  Senator Warren  and her staff worked with privacy scholars to develop strong regulation; other sponsors include Senators Wyden, Murray, Whitehouse, and Sanders.  Sweeping Legislation Aims to Ban the Sale of Location Data has more.
  • The My Body My Data Act regulates period tracking and other personal health apps, requiring firms to only collect and retain reproductive health information that is “strictly needed”, and creates a private right of action allowing people to sue companies that violate the law.  Supporters include URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, and EFF.  While unlikely to even get a hearing in Congress, sponsor Rep. Sara Jacobs suggests it’s a potential model for state law.
  • The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act bars law enforcement and intelligence agencies from purchasing data from private companies that it would have otherwise needed a warrant to acquire.  The bill has bipartisan sponsorship, including Senators Ron Wyden, Rand Paul, and 18 other Senators; and support from dozens of onsumer-advocacy, media-justice and privacy-rights groups.  No hearing has currently been scheduled.TAKE ACTION: EFF has a form that makes it easy to tell Congress: The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale.

There are also several children’s privacy laws under consideration: the Protecting the Information of our Vulnerable Children and Youth Act (Kids PRIVCY), the Children and Teens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0), the Kids Internet Design and Safety Act (KIDS Act) and the Kids Online Safety Act.  Future of Privacy Forum has a policy brief comparing them.