Luján, Welch Introduce Bill to Require Online Platforms Receive Consumers’ Consent Before Using Their Personal Data to Train AI Models

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) introduced the Artificial Intelligence Consumer Opt-In, Notification Standards, and Ethical Norms for Training (AI CONSENT) Act, legislation that would require online platforms to obtain consumers’ express informed consent before using their personal data to train artificial intelligence (AI) models. Failure to do so would be considered a deceptive or unfair practice, subject to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement. The bill also directs the FTC to study the efficacy of data de-identification given advancements in AI tools. 

“Personally identifiable information should not be used to train AI models without consent,” said Senator Luján. “The use of personal data by online platforms already pose great risks to our communities, and artificial intelligence increases the potential for misuse. That’s why I’m joining Senator Welch to introduce legislation that improves privacy protections for the American people and their data.” 

“The AI CONSENT Act gives a commonsense directive to artificial intelligence innovators: get the express consent of the public before using their private, personal data to train your AI models. The potential of AI is, without question, enormous—but it’s a tool that requires guardrails and transparency for the consumer. This legislation will help strengthen consumer protections and give Americans the power to determine how their data is used by online platforms. We cannot allow the public to be caught in the crossfire of a data arms race, which is why these privacy protections are so crucial,” said Senator Welch

Specifically, the AI CONSENT Act directs the FTC to implement regulations to improve transparency by requiring companies disclose when an individual’s data will be used to train AI and receive consumer opt-in to this use. The AI CONSENT Act provides strong guidelines for these regulations, such as disclosure standards and what constitutes consumer consent. The bill would also commission an FTC report on the technical feasibility of de-identifying data given rapid advancements in AI technologies, evaluating potential measures companies could take to effectively de-identify user data. 

The AI CONSENT Act is endorsed by National Consumers League (NCL) and Public Citizen. 

“Consumers have a fundamental right to our own data,” said NCL Public Policy Manager Eden Iscil. “This includes the right to tell developers ‘no’ when they want train their AI by listening in on our video calls. The AI CONSENT Act would reflect this principle in federal law and marks a strong step forward in legalizing consumers’ digital privacy rights.”  

Read the full text of the bill. 


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