US Lawmakers Call for Privacy Legislation After Reuters Report on Amazon Lobbying

Five members of Congress called for federal consumer-privacy legislation after a Reuters report published Friday revealed how Amazon has led an under-the-radar campaign to gut privacy protections in 25 states while amassing a valuable trove of personal data on American consumers. From a report: "Amazon shamefully launched a campaign to squash privacy legislation while its devices listen to and watch our lives," U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat who has been involved in bipartisan negotiations on privacy legislation, wrote Friday on Twitter. "This is now the classic Big Tech move: deploy money and armies of lobbyists to fight meaningful reforms in the shadows but claim to support them publicly." The revelations underscored the need for bipartisan action on stronger privacy protections, he wrote. No major federal privacy legislation has passed Congress in years because members have been deadlocked on the issue. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has introduced several privacy bills in recent years, said in a statement that the Reuters story showed how companies including Amazon are "spending millions to weaken state laws," and hoping Congress will also water down federal legislation "until it's worthless."

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