On July 30, 2019, Sens. Peters and McSally introduced S.2342, a bill to provide for requirements for data brokers with respect to the acquisition, use and protection of brokered personal information, and to require that data brokers annually register with the Federal Trade Commission.
The Senators believe that policymakers and the public deserve to know the identities of data brokers. McSally believes that data is gathered and consumers scored without any knowledge of industry practices, and that brokers may be circumventing laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FCRA requires data collected by credit reporting agencies to be transparent and allows consumers to correct the record.
At present, there is no express acknowledgement that the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal played any role in the construction of the bill.
In 2014, FTC attorneys made various recommendations to Congress regarding increased data broker transparency and user control. In doing so, the agency asked Congress to consider legislation that would require use of an Internet portal where data brokers could identify themselves. The FTC also called for legislation that would require a description of information collection and use practices, as well as the provision of opt-out mechanisms.
The proposed legislation comes following the enactment of Vermont’s groundbreaking data broker disclosure and security legislation.
The bill has since been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
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