WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and a bipartisan group of her colleagues today introduced legislation that would improve protections and transparency for consumers by requiring that data brokers—businesses that sell consumers’ personal information to third parties—provide information about their practices with regard to collection of personal data.

“Today, it’s more important than ever to protect the individual data of American consumers,” Senator Capito said. “This bipartisan legislation would bring much-needed transparency and accountability to how data brokers handle personal information, while implementing important security protections for West Virginians.”

The Data Broker List Act of 2021 would establish a national registry where data brokers would be required to register annually, as well as require implementation of comprehensive information security systems to prevent security breaches.

The bill would also give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) authority to oversee and establish rules regarding the data broker registry. Currently, a major issue in data privacy is the lack of transparency and awareness for consumers in regards to which companies are collecting their information and what it’s being used for – thereby putting consumers’ privacy at risk.

The Data Broker List Act of 2021 would:

  • Require data brokers to register annually: This bill would require companies selling consumer data to register with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a national registry, and provide information about their practices with regard to collection of personal data.

  • Require implementation of security systems: This bill would require data brokers to have in place a comprehensive information security system to mitigate the risk of data security breaches.

  • Authorize enforcement power: This bill would give the FTC enforcement power, including the ability to oversee compliance with the provisions in the bill. It would also give the FTC rulemaking authority to determine what regulations are necessary for enforcement.

  • Require annual review: The bill would require the FTC to conduct an annual review of the data broker registry and provide a report to Congress with recommendations, beginning no later than one year after enactment.

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