Top lawmaker shares ‘biggest fear’ about her kids’ data online as Congress eyes federal privacy rules

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said her “biggest fear” as a parent is that her child’s sensitive data would be misused online, and that it would harm herself and millions of others. He said he aims to allay those fears among Americans. New federal data privacy standards.

“There’s very dangerous activity going on online, and data collection is basically how these algorithms are developed that will ultimately be used to target not just children but the general public.” Rogers said in an interview with FOX News Digital.

“This is my biggest fear as a parent with three school-age children and other friends whose children have been targeted online. , we know that we are targeting children with targeted advertising that leads to dangerous lives” – threatening behavior. ”

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House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers is working to develop new federal data privacy standards. (Getty Images)

Rogers cited reports of predatory groups and malicious actors targeting children on social media and connecting with them, usually through the wealth of personal data floating around online.

“We’ve all heard too many stories about eating disorders, increasing mental health issues and self-harm. Unfortunately, children are involved with drug dealers and “People have died from being sold pills laced with fentanyl,” she said. she said.

Washington Republicans are working with Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) to give Americans more control over the personal data they share online and take action if sensitive information is compromised. announced a bipartisan framework aimed at making this possible. Fall prey to the bad guys.

It would also minimize the amount of sensitive data, such as location information and biometrics, that companies can collect without explicit permission.

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SEATTLE, WA - JULY 8: Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) speaks at Evergreen High School town hall on July 8, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. More than 400 people attended the town hall, one of several meetings Cantwell had scheduled during the Legislature's Fourth of July recess to address residents' concerns, from health care to immigration, across the state. It became one.  (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers collaborated with Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-Wash., pictured) to announce a bipartisan framework. . (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

“This bill has very strong accountability measures,” he said, adding that it would give the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general the power to go after these bad actors.

Rogers also has the right to sue if a company fails to respect users’ wishes and continues to collect and sell data without permission, and if a data breach or hack causes “obvious harm.” he explained.

Rogers told Fox News Digital that hearings are scheduled for this week as the bill begins to move through Congress.

If passed, this ambitious proposal would create the first-ever federal data privacy standard. But data privacy issues have been around for almost as long as the internet itself.

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House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers expressed concern about how sensitive information about Americans, especially children, could be misused online. (

“There is an urgent need to move this bill. Congress has been wrestling with privacy data security laws for decades, but it is past time to put people in control of their data,” she said.

Rogers added that Congress would also create a body to deal with future data privacy issues that may come with rapid advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).


“This is fundamental to AI. For example, there’s a lot of talk right now about AI and these large datasets that are being collected, huge amounts of data, and the ability of companies to collect all kinds of data. , there are currently no restrictions on sensitive data about Americans,” she said. “Establishing national privacy standards is fundamental to AI, but it’s also critical to protecting our children online…Parents and all Americans know this is necessary.”