The News Today
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10.20.20
Golden Handcuffs

Elizabeth Warren: If Data Gets Stolen, Throw Tech CEOs in Prison

__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Future Society
Marc Nozell via Flickr/Tag Hartman-Simkins

Billion Dollar Idea

Senator and presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren wants tech leaders to be held accountable when user data that they’ve collected gets stolen or leaked.

According to a bill Warren introduced Wednesday, executives of billion-dollar companies could be held criminally liable for data breaches — and perhaps even face jail time.

Turning Tide

The legislation comes on the tail of similar legislation introduced by Senator Ron Wyden, signifying that American leaders are getting fed up with poor accountability in tech.

“When small-business owners cheat their customers, they go to jail,” Warren wrote in The Washington Post on Tuesday. “But when corporate executives at big companies oversee huge frauds that hurt tens of thousands of people, they often get to walk away with multimillion-dollar payouts.”

Well-Timed

Warren’s bill and op-ed, ironically, came right before Facebook app developers left 540 million records of Facebook users’ activity available online along with 22,000 people’s passwords.

“If top executives knew they would be hauled out in handcuffs for failing to reasonably oversee the companies they run, they would have a real incentive to better monitor their operations and snuff out any wrongdoing before it got out of hand,” Warren wrote.

READ MORE: Elizabeth Warren introduces bill that could hold tech execs responsible for data breaches [The Verge]

More on Elizabeth Warren: Elizabeth Warren Shares Plan to Break up Facebook, Google, Amazon