Cantwell and Senate Democrats propose Internet privacy regulation

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington Senator Maria Cantwell is leading the charge on online privacy, introducing a bill this week that could help guard Americans’ data when they use the Internet.

The Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act, or COPRA, would limit the amount of data that Silicon Valley companies can harvest from their users, and make them subject to legal action when they misuse it. The proposed bill follows a framework that Senate Democrats released last week.

“Our lives are shaped by technology and data collection more than ever before,” Democratic leaders wrote. “Yet the basic legal frameworks to protect our privacy have not evolved — or been updated — to meet this new reality. “

Cantwell and fellow Democrats say they’re concerned about how location tracking, facial recognition, purchase histories and other online data can be turned against consumers.