FTC compliance, CID investigations and litigation enforcement attorney Richard B. Newman was recently quoted in Communications Daily (subscription required) in an article entitled “Sens. Peters, McSally Push for Data Broker Transparency Through FTC.” Communications Daily is a leading publisher of hard news on telecom, broadcasting, the Internet, international trade and the consumer electronics industries.
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 bill is designed to bring more transparency to data broker practices through the FTC. Policymakers and the public deserve to know the identities of data brokers, according to Peters. The article discusses legislative concerns that brokers may be circumventing laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act and whether Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal played any role in crafting the bill.
In 2014, the FTC made a series of legislative and best practice recommendations to increase data broker transparency and user control. In doing so, the Commission asked Congress to consider requiring data brokers to provide consumers access to their data, including sensitive data held about them, and the ability to opt-out of having it shared for marketing purposes. In doing so, the FTC suggested creating a centralized, online portal where data brokers could identify themselves, describe their information collection and use practices, and provide links to access tools and opt outs.
“The FTC no doubt considers it a realistic undertaking,” Newman stated.
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.
View the article, here.