U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has joined three of his Democratic colleagues in authoring new legislation that would require accountability and transparency for companies that collect and sell confidential data about consumers.
The senators cited the recently announced data security breach at Equifax as the driver behind the Data Broker Accountability and Transparency Act, which requires data brokers to develop and maintain stronger privacy and security programs while providing reasonable notice of security breaches. The Equifax breach occurred between May and June, but was not publicly announced until Sept. 7.
The bill also enables consumers to stop data brokers from using, sharing or selling their personal information for marketing purposes.
“The Equifax scandal is conclusive evidence that consumers need and deserve these protections without delay,” said Blumenthal. “Third-party data brokers profiting off the sale of personal consumer information is a shameless violation of the privacy and security of millions of Americans. In the face of ubiquitous online security threats – more pertinent than ever following the Equifax data breach – Congress must act to put the power back in the hands of consumers.”
The Connecticut senator introduced the bill with Democratic senators Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Al Franken of Minnesota.