Trahan, Edwards, Cassidy, Ossoff Reintroduce Bicameral Bill to Rein in Data Brokers
Washington, June 22, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA-03), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee, partnered with Congressman Chuck Edwards (R-NC-11) and Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and John Ossoff (D-GA) to reintroduce the Data Elimination and Limiting Extensive Tracking and Exchange (DELETE) Act. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation would establish a system through which individuals could request that all data brokers delete any personal data collected by the company and a prohibition on future collection.
“Once our phone number, web history, or even social security number gets added to a data broker’s list, it becomes nearly impossible to get it removed,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “It’s long past time to rein in the shady practices of data brokers. That’s why I’m reintroducing the bipartisan DELETE Act to return power back to consumers by giving each of us the right to have our personal information removed from these lists.”
“The DELETE Act gives citizens a platform to easily request that their personal information to be deleted and stop further collection by data companies. Americans expect and deserve privacy, and this bipartisan bill will allow them to finally take control over their personal information,” said Congressman Edwards.
“Privacy should be expected and protected online,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bill gives Americans a solution to ensure their personal data is not tracked, collected, bought or sold by data brokers.”
“Data brokers are buying, collecting, and reselling vast amounts of personal information about all of us without our consent. This bipartisan bill is about returning control of our personal data to us, the American people,” said Senator Ossoff.
The DELETE Act would direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create an online dashboard for Americans to submit a one-time data deletion request that would be sent to all data brokers registered. Under current law, individuals must request removal from each individual data broker to ensure their privacy is protected. This legislation would also create a ‘do not track list’ to protect taxpayers from future data collection. The DELETE Act is supported by Public Knowledge.
Trahan has been critical of data broker practices in recent years. Last February, she first introduced the DELETE Act to rein in data brokers’ shady behaviors. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, she wrote to top data brokers questioning their handling of women’s health and reproductive data in light of the decision. Trahan blasted the companies after their responses failed to adequately address concerns about how this data could be used to target women seeking reproductive care, including recent issues raised by Massachusetts leaders.