The American Data Privacy and Protection Act, which is bipartisan and bicameral, goes farther than any existing national or state law to protect civil rights online.
WASHINGTON–The newly revised American Data Privacy and Protection Act, which heads to markup in The House Energy and Commerce Committee this week, has been endorsed by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. In addition to broadly protecting data privacy, the act would greatly advance civil rights by prohibiting discriminatory uses of personal data. The revised bill includes revisions to strengthen the ability of an individual to sue under the act, including reducing the waiting period for individuals who have been harmed, and preventing government officials hostile to civil rights or privacy rights from blocking suits.
“Privacy rights are civil rights. This bill is the most significant effort in our country’s history to meaningfully fight data-driven discrimination in our increasingly online world. We are hopeful that the House Energy and Commerce Committee recognizes the urgent need to protect all Americans–but especially communities of color–from algorithmic bias, exploitative data practices, and identity theft.” said David Brody, Managing Attorney for the Digital Justice Initiative at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
The bill includes stronger civil rights protections than any state privacy law, including the California Privacy Rights Act. Unlike California’s privacy laws, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act has stronger anti-discrimination protections and requires testing algorithms for biases that affect access to and eligibility for a wide range of essential needs, including housing, employment, credit, healthcare, education, and public accommodations. The act also requires companies to only collect, use, or share as much data as is necessary to provide services consumers expect–and has reasonable enforcement provisions including a private right of action for civil rights and privacy violations–which California does not. A robust private right of action is an essential component of any civil rights regime, including this bill, because historically communities of color and others could not rely on the government to vindicate their rights. The bill also requires companies to disclose their data practices, provides extra protections for kids’ privacy, and creates a new bureau at the Federal Trade Commission to protect privacy rights nationwide.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org