GOP Rep. Doug Collins calls for internet data property rights

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:33 AM PT – Thursday, July 11, 2019

A senior House Republican is drafting a bill to grant users the ownership of the data they generate. On Wednesday, congressman Doug Collins, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the internet privacy guidelines for an upcoming bill. Collins said the legislation aims to allow internet consumers more control and transparency on data information without imposing heavy regulations.

This comes as Congress is searching to remedy concerns over user data trafficking, and establish the country’s first sweeping consumer privacy law. Collins said individuals should have a voice on how their data is used, and has insisted the government and private sector recognize consumer data as the property of the consumer. The GOP lawmaker has also criticized tech giants such as Google for not doing enough to safeguard private information.

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., speaks during a House Judiciary Committee debate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

“The amount of data being collected, how it’s used, how you monetize basically the flow of information that you have and the monetization of that is a concern,” stated Collins. “I’m not sure in the broad scope of things…simply clicking yes…is going to open up a much larger situation, which is not just monetizing data…it’s actually using data that can then be used for law enforcement or others in legal proceedings that then can be used against them.”

In the guidelines, Collins laid out principles the bill is expected to follow such as establishing a federally recognized class of data property composed of an individual’s location their response to ads and online posts. It also proposes a federal law to enable consumers to oversee the commercial use of their data property, and includes protections for the information. Collins hopes to introduce the bill in the coming months after he receives input from other members in Congress.