On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a Senate bill backed by Bernie Sanders designed to stop data brokers from trading Americans’ highly personal data.
The bill is aimed to curb the sale of location and health data, a profitable industry where people have no transparency about what happens with their sensitive information.
Beyond senator Bernie Sanders, other bill co-sponsors are Senators Ron Wyden, Patty Murray and Sheldon Whitehouse.
“Largely unregulated by federal law, data brokers gather intensely personal data such as location data from seemingly innocuous sources including weather apps and prayer apps—oftentimes without the consumer’s consent or knowledge. Then, brokers turn around and sell the data in bulk to virtually any willing buyer, reaping massive profits,” explains the bill.
Tying in to the recent draft Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wave, a landmark decision on women’s right to body autonomy, sen. Elizabeth Warren says “it is more crucial than ever for Congress to protect consumers’ sensitive data.” The implication is that the data being sold by data brokers could be used to identify, target and persecute individuals who went through an abortion.
Warren’s Health and Location Data Protection Act “forbids data brokers from selling or transferring location data and health data and requires the Federal Trade Commission to promulgate rules to implement the law within 180 days, while making exceptions for HIPAA-compliant activities, protected First Amendment speech, and validly authorized disclosures.”
You can read the full proposal here.