In the wake of the recent Target stores and Neiman Marcus data breaches (plus three other well-known retailers, according to this Reuters report) Congress has 20 privacy bills in the works this year, aimed at consumer privacy and data protection. The Personal Data Privacy & Security Act of 2014 (PDF) introduced by New York Senator Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer), along with Senators Pat Leahy (@SenatorLeahy), Al Franken (@alfranken), and Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) expands both civil and criminal penalties for the misuse of personal information mined from retail data breaches.
Also, although more than a dozen states have enacted laws banning employers from soliciting personal email or social media login information from their employees, the Password Protection Act (PDF)—also introduced by Senators Blumenthal and Schumer—would ban the practice nationwide.
Some of the other proposed laws focus on protecting geolocation information, limiting the use of drones, and adding enhancements to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998. Over on Inside Privacy, Washington D.C. attorney Jeff Kosseff does a great rundown of the 20 privacy bills to watch in 2014.