Spokesman Review: Cantwell, Rodgers Strike Bipartisan Deal on Landmark Data Privacy Bill

The American Privacy Rights Act Puts People in Control of their Data

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Senate Commerce Chair Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) unveiled the American Privacy Rights Act of 2024, which will put people in control of their personal data by establishing a uniform national standard for data privacy and security. 

As first reported by the Spokesman Review, the bill eliminates the existing patchwork of state comprehensive data privacy laws, establishes strong data security protections, and gives Americans historical landmark privacy rights as well as the ability to enforce those rights.

Highlights and excerpts from the Spokesman Review: 

Orion Tweet Privacy.png

“Since the dawn of the internet age, tech companies have developed increasingly sophisticated ways to collect and use vast swaths of Americans’ personal data, while Congress has repeatedly failed to regulate the practice. Now, two Washington state lawmakers have a bipartisan plan to break that impasse and set a national standard for data privacy.

“Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Spokane Republican who leads the House Energy and Commerce Committee, have appeared at odds on data privacy since introducing competing legislation in recent years. But in interviews on Sunday, the two women said they have a compromise bill that can get to President Joe Biden’s desk before McMorris Rodgers leaves Congress at the end of the year.

“'This is a historic piece of legislation that we’ve been working on for several years,’ McMorris Rodgers said. ‘Online privacy protections shouldn’t differ across state lines. What we see is a patchwork of state laws developing, and this draft that Sen. Cantwell and I have agreed to will establish privacy protections that are stronger than any state law on the books.’ 

“The draft legislation, obtained exclusively by The Spokesman-Review, would limit the data that companies can collect, retain and use to only what they need to provide their products and services. That would represent a major change from the current consent-based system that forces users to scroll through long privacy agreements and barrages them with pop-ups asking for their permission to be tracked online.  

“The American Privacy Rights Act, or APRA, would let Americans opt out of targeted advertising and view, correct, export or delete their data and stop its sale or transfer. It would create a national registry of the data brokers that buy and sell personal information, and would require those companies to let people opt out of having their data collected and sold.” 


“Cantwell said that the negotiations were aided by a strong relationship between her and McMorris Rodgers that had been forged by working through some ‘really thorny problems,’ including wildfires and the Spokane Tribe’s 2020 settlement with the federal government for damage done by the Grand Coulee Dam. 

“McMorris Rodgers agreed that representing the same state helped their bipartisan data privacy bill become a reality. 

"‘It’s been an exercise in building trust,’ McMorris Rodgers said. ‘We come from a state that has a large tech presence, a state that has led in technology, and I think all of that has played a part in bringing us together at this moment. And it really is a significant moment for us to lead, both for Washington state and for the nation.’” 

CLICK HERE to read the full article.