Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee speaks throughout the listening to with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew earlier than the House Energy and Commerce Committee within the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 23, 2023 in Washington, DC.
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A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urgent greater than 20 knowledge dealer corporations, together with Equifax, Oracle and Whitepages, to disclose the varieties of info they acquire on U.S. shoppers and the way they distribute it, based on letters shared solely with CNBC.
In the letters, 10 lawmakers requested the businesses for detailed responses on the varieties of delicate info they collect, similar to well being, location and telephone knowledge, together with apps shoppers obtain to their units. The corporations had been additionally requested what info they acquire on minors.
The push comes because the House Energy and Commerce Committee continues its assessment of knowledge brokers, a key portion of the tech business that collects and sells heaps of Americans’ digital info.
The letters ask whether or not the brokers take into account any kind of knowledge to be off limits for them to purchase or promote, what restrictions they placed on knowledge they share with third events and the way they confirm the accuracy of the information they acquire and distribute. Additional questions span from searching for to grasp how a lot cash the companies make from promoting knowledge to what number of sources they use to get that info.
Last month, the subcommittee on oversight and investigations held a listening to with skilled witnesses to look at “the role of data brokers in the digital economy.” The letters point out the committee stays centered on this slice of the tech business because it seems to be to go complete privateness laws. It additionally exhibits that Congress is concentrated on a broader swath of corporations than simply the large gamers like Google and Facebook that appeal to a lot scrutiny.
The lawmakers level to a latest proposed settlement between the Federal Trade Commission and on-line psychological well being service supplier BetterHelp, after the company alleged the corporate shared delicate buyer knowledge with third-party web sites for promoting.
“American privacy concerns in the data broker industry are not new, and existing laws do not sufficiently protect Americans’ data from misuse,” the letter stated, including that an FTC report in 2014 left wiggle room. In that report, the regulator really useful that Congress pressure brokers to offer shoppers better management over their knowledge, however the “data brokers can easily circumvent existing rules and laws,” the letter stated.
Lawmakers who signed the letter embrace Committee Chair Cathy McMorris, R-Wash., and rating member Frank Pallone, D-N.J., in addition to a number of subcommittee chairs and rating members: Reps. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., Kathy Castor, D-Fla., Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., Bob Latta, R-Ohio, Doris Matsui, D-Calif., Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.
Here’s the complete record of knowledge brokers who obtained the letter::
- Babel Street
- CoreLogic Solutions
- Epsilon Data Management
- Gravy Analytics
- Oracle America
- Thomson Reuters
- Verisk Analytics
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