US President Barack Obama on Monday called for major federal legislation to protect Americans’ online privacy in the run-up to next week’s State of the Union address
US President Barack Obama on Monday called for major federal legislation to protect Americans’ online privacy in the run-up to next week’s State of the Union address.
In a speech at the Federal Trade Commission, he proposed a nationwide requirement that businesses report thefts of customers’ personal information; a “bill of rights” to give people more control over their data; and strict protections for personal information about children collected by their schools.
Citing the recent breach at Sony Pictures, Obama said Internet insecurity “creates enormous vulnerabilities for us as a nation, and for our economy and for individual families.”
One of the president’s proposals, the Student Digital Privacy Act, is similar to a law recently passed in California that forbids companies from reselling student data to third parties not involved in educational activities. Companies would also be banned from using the collected data to target students with advertisements.
“Data collected on students in the classroom should only be used for educational purposes, to teach our children, not to market to our children,” Obama said.
Obama would also require companies to notify customers within 30 days from the time a data breach is discovered. Already, 47 states have similar laws, some of which are stricter than what Obama has called for. In California, any company involved in health care has just 15 days to report data breaches.