By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 4-30-20

High-profile Senate Republicans say they plan to introduce a data privacy bill, the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act, that would hold companies accountable for their use of personal data to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are concerns that contact-tracing technology employed by companies including Apple and Google could wind up producing a surveillance state or put consumer data at risk for misuse or follow-on use by third parties.

They say the bill would give Americans more “transparency, choice, and control” over the collection of health, geolocation and proximity data, all key to contact tracing, and would “hold businesses accountable to consumers if they use personal data to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The “they” in this case are Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D), Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).  » Read More