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American Data Privacy & Protection Act Faces Congress’ Changes

American Data Privacy & Protection Act Faces Congress’ Changes
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, a member of the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, accompanies House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy outside for a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, a member of the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, accompanies House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy outside for a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
Photo: Associated Press (AP)

House Republicans want to drastically change a federal privacy bill that Democrats in the Senate are also threatening to murder. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) is one of the few pieces of privacy legislation to get the time of day on Capitol Hill in the last few years—even if looks now like it’s being blindfolded and handed a last cigarette.

Subcommittee members in the House advanced the bill on Thursday with a unanimous vote, even though a couple of Republicans decided a few last minute changes were needed. Those proposals were ultimately tabled but hinted that the Republicans were potential deal-breaking votes down the line. ADPPA is now headed for a full vote by the Energy and Commerce Committee next month, and could see the House floor before August. If it passes there, though, it faces at least one powerful Senate Democrat who has made it known she’ll let it die on the vine.

Almost a half decade has passed since one of America’s largest credit reporting agencies lost control over 145 million people’s sensitive data. Even the most bloodied IT professionals, people who are fully aware of the preposterous amounts of data stolen and leaked each day, were sobered by the scale and magnitude of that breach. Just about anyone who’d heard anything about Equifax wanted to see the company strung up by its thumbs. And squandering all that juice, Congress did something entirely predictable: nothing.

Multiple comprehensive privacy bills have been introduced in the interim, and precisely zero of them have…

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