More Legislation On Data Brokers

More Legislation On Data Brokers
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash


Two bills would address different aspects of data brokering.


In response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a group of Democratic Senators introduced the “Health and Location Data Protection Act” (S. 4408) “that bans data brokers from selling some of the most sensitive data available about everyday Americans: their health and location data.” Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sponsored the bill.

Another bill was introduced contemporaneously with S.4408 that addresses a different facet of the problems posed by data brokering. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Cynthia Lummis, (R-WY), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced the “Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Surveillance Act” (S. 4495) that purports to cut off the flow of personal data from the U.S. to nations like the People’s Republic of China.


Data brokers are under increasing scrutiny in the United States (U.S.) Last year, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY) and 18 other cosponsors introducedthe “Fourth Amendment is Not for Sale Act,” (S.1265) “to put a stop to shady data brokers buying and selling Americans’ Constitutional rights.” House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced a companion bill in the House (H.R.2738). This bill would close the loophole in Fourth Amendment precedent that allows government agencies to get information from third parties they are barred from collecting directly.

Earlier this year, Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Representative Lori Trahan (D-MA) introduced the “Data Elimination and Limiting Extensive Tracking and Exchange Act” (DELETE Act) (H.R.6752/S.3627) that would institute a system at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding data brokers akin to the Do Not Call program (see here for more detail and analysis.)

Of course, the data privacy and protection bill, three of the four key stakeholders in Congress  introduced, the “American Data Privacy and Protection Act” (ADPPA) (H.R. 8152), has provisions requiring data brokers to register with the FTC and permit people to request that these entities stop processing and transferring personal information they did not collect directly from the requester.

Now, there are two more bills that would address other aspects of data brokering.