President Obama wants to push new laws through Congress on data hacking, student privacy and customer advertising profiles, reinforcing digital security, according to an official from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
2014 was notable for its large amount of hacks, hitting U.S. companies like Target, Home Depot and Sony Pictures. The increase in hacking activity has many U.S. officials worried about the security measures the government is currently taking to protect the private sector.
Obama’s new plan would make sure companies inform customers if they have been hacked by 30 days, forcing docile companies to be active and transparent with customers, something that has not been in the case in most large scale attacks over 2014.
This legislation would also make it illegal for companies to sell customers’ identities overseas, potentially an issue for companies like Facebook and Google who regularly sell customers ad-profiles.
It is not clear, from the report, whether this is simply customers personal information or buying habits, or whether the new legislation includes ad-agencies like Facebook and Google.
Obama is also looking to make it easier for students to stay secure, by pushing the Student Digital Privacy Act. The new act will make it illegal for companies to sell student information to a third-party, stopping technology schools from selling important student data to companies.
The recent switch in Congress has put Republicans in charge, making it harder for The Obama Administration to have influence over Congress’ decisions. This could prevent the two pieces of legislation from passing, when Obama brings them to Congress.
However, there are several Republican Senators interested in tightening security online, meaning the two bills could definitely start a debate.
Some Republicans want to see a full sweep of new rules and legislation against U.S. companies and hacktivists outside of the U.S., but most of these new bills have not hit the floor.