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New Privacy Bill threatens Google,Facebook Data Collection Processes

A Republican senator plans to propose a bill that would let consumers block all websites from collecting unnecessary data, a measure that would likely hurt the data-powered advertising businesses of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc., and others.

While Congress is debating privacy measures that could allow consumers to opt out of data collection service-by-service, Josh Hawley’s proposal would allow consumers to choose a single setting that opts out of all data collection “beyond what is indispensable to the companies’ online services,” according to a statement.

Browsers have long allowed users to send “Do Not Track” signals, but the feature is only a request and is rarely fulfilled, Hawley said in the statement. The measure would also ban companies from profiling users who activate the feature.

The bill would impose fines against companies of $1,000 per person per day for willful or reckless violations, with a minimum of $100,000, according to a spokesman for the Missouri freshman, who has been among Big Tech’s most vocal conservative critics. Hawley plans to introduce the full text on Tuesday, the spokesman said.

Data collection helps power the digital economy that many consumers rely on, from location-based services to social media sites.

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