Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Senate Legislation Would Regulate Data Brokers to Protect Consumers

Senate Commerce Committee Chair John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and Senator Edward Markey (D-MA)  have introduced legislation that would require data brokers to be accountable and transparent about the information they collect and sell about consumers. This is an effort to regulate what Chairman Rockefeller called a booming shadow industry that generated more than $150 billion in 2012 and operates with very little scrutiny and oversight, and that is totally unfair to consumers.

The Data Broker Accountability and Transparency Act would  give consumers important protections like the ability to access files a data broker compiles of their personal information; the ability to correct inaccuracies in those files; and, importantly, choose whether they want to allow their personal information to be sold to other companies. The legislation would also give consumers the right to access their personal data, the ability to correct it, and opt-out from marketing purposes.        

The bill also would prohibit data brokers from collecting or soliciting consumer information in deceptive ways, and it would allow consumers to access and correct their information to help ensure maximum possible accuracy. Under the DATA Act, consumers would also be able to opt out of having their information collected and sold by data brokers for marketing purposes.