Q95: What is your plan to address the need for comprehensive data privacy protections that includes civil rights protections?
Biden: I believe strongly in the need for laws that protect Americans’ data privacy and data security. We need to improve America’s laws to set standards that will better protect Americans’ privacy online—and I will not support any trade agreements that will undercut those objectives
Bloomberg: We will share details of our technology plan with you when it has been made public.
Buttigeig: Yes. In too many cases, we’ve seen privacy abuses that have disproportionately harmed marginalized communities, especially communities of color. As President, I will make protecting our privacy a top priority, and hold companies accountable when they fail. I will work with Congress to pass a comprehensive federal privacy law that puts affirmative obligations on companies to limit what they do with our data, protect our information, and ensure that anyone who collects or holds our data treats our data with care. I support strong penalties for those who fail to properly protect and steward Americans’ online data. We must ensure that our civil rights are protected in the digital age, including from algorithmic decision-making tools that are trained on biased data or depend on assumptions that contain entrenched biases. My administration will direct federal regulators to tackle the issue of proxy discrimination, starting from the issuance of rules and guidance about the principled use of automated decision making systems. My administration will roll back regulations that insulate algorithmic discrimination, including HUD’s proposed rule that would shield landlords, banks, and insurance companies that rely on flawed technologies. Any biased decision making process — whether human or technological — must be fixed in order to protect consumers from discrimination. Furthermore, I believe that government itself must ensure that the technologies it uses comply with our civil rights laws and our values — particularly when it comes to criminal justice. When an algorithm is trained on years of inequitable policing practices, we cannot expect it to do much more than repeat history. Yet across our country, law enforcement agencies have adopted predictive policing technologies that seem to operate on a continuous feedback loop of antiquated, race-biased information. That’s not Twenty-First Century policing. That’s automating Twentieth Century over-policing of communities of color. My Administration will retire flawed technological systems that are way past their expiration dates, and make data about our criminal justice system more open and transparent so we can identify bias wherever it exists. While some of these tools need careful oversight and control to identify and stamp out bias, others should simply be rejected.
De La Fuente: Yes. A plan will be published soon.
Klobuchar: Yes. Advances in technology have opened new opportunities for consumers, entrepreneurs and businesses, but they have also created new threats to privacy. Consumer protection laws have not kept pace with these technological advances. As President, Senator Klobuchar will update consumer protections so they work in the 21st century economy. She will work to pass legislation similar to the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act, which she leads with Senator Maria Cantwell. The bill would establish strong privacy rights for consumers including the right to access their data and greater transparency, the right to prevent data from being distributed to unknown third parties, the right to delete or correct their data and the right to take their data to a competitor. It would also establish a “duty of loyalty,” which would prohibit companies from engaging in deceptive and harmful data practices. In addition, the legislation would require companies to implement strong data security policies, receive affirmative consent from consumers for collecting sensitive information, and give consumers, states, and the Federal Trade Commission new enforcement authorities. Senator Klobuchar will also work to pass legislation based on her bipartisan Protecting Personal Health Data Act to create protections for new health technologies not covered by existing privacy laws. As more personal information is collected and stored online, consumers are increasingly vulnerable to having their data exposed in a data breach. As President, Senator Klobuchar will push for legislation similar to her bipartisan Social Media Privacy and Consumer Rights Act to require companies to notify users within 72 hours when their data has been breached and offer meaningful remedies for people whose data has been compromised. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s plan for the future of work and a changing economy here: https://medium.com/@AmyforAmerica/senator-klobuchars- plan-for-the-future-of-work-and-a-changing-economy- 4c7c0b859fec?
Sanders: Bernie has spent his entire career fighting to protect the privacy and civil liberties of the American people. Bernie believes the American people should have control over their own personal data — not huge corporate conglomerates. As President, he will reinstate and expand privacy protection rules and work with privacy experts, racial justice activists, and other stakeholders to develop and pass a digital privacy bill of rights into law.
A few massive corporations have control over vast swaths of Americans’ lives. Facebook harvests the data of 228 million Americans and uses this sensitive information in dangerous ways. They have endangered our democracy and enabled the spread of disinformation and hatred on their platform. Amazon has amassed control over the e-commerce industry, capturing a full 50 percent of the market and using its power to drive down wages for workers and prices for suppliers.
When Bernie is in the White House, he will reinvigorate the FTC and appoint an Attorney General who will aggressively investigate and break up these tech giants and other conglomerates that have monopolized nearly every sector of our economy. These corporate giants control too much of what we see, hear and read online and must be subjected to regulation and antitrust authority.
Steyer: Americans have a right to privacy and I plan to uphold that right by empowering the DOJ and FTC to protect privacy — and put justices on the bench who support that right. I think about the democratic value of privacy: It safeguards autonomy, self-direction and the right to free association. Privacy underpins freedom. We are in the middle of a technological revolution and the amount of data on each of us will only continue to grow — and soon will include more and more sensitive information about our health, our home life, and our very thoughts.
Warren: Yes. I have fought to ensure that people’s data is protected and that companies that compromise confidential personal data are held accountable. For example, my Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act would hold credit reporting agencies like Equifax truly accountable when they allow personal information to be stolen. My plan would hold those companies strictly liable for any data that is lost, creating a strong incentive for companies to safeguard that data. We must also give people more control over how their personal information is collected, shared, and sold — and do it in a way that doesn’t lock in massive competitive advantages for the companies that already have a ton of our data. I also support breaking up Big Tech, in part because more competition in this space will likely result in companies adopting better data privacy practices. In addition, I’ll establish a task force on digital privacy in public safety to establish guardrails and appropriate privacy protections for body cameras and other surveillance technology, including the use of facial recognition technology and algorithms that exacerbate underlying bias. I have also committed to fighting potential privacy violations and disparate impacts related to inappropriate uses of data in schools. That includes banning the sharing, storing, and sale of personally identifiable student data by education technology companies, as well as issuing guidance to schools on surveillance practices like massive databases of student characteristics, classroom video cameras, and facial recognition. The government can enforce the law and protect our security without trampling on Americans’ privacy. Law enforcement should not be able to access sensitive information about an individual without a warrant — period.