House Approves Bill Against Sale of Personal Data to Adversaries

The US House of Representatives has approved a bill designed to limit data brokers’ capabilities in selling US citizens’ personal data to hostile nations, including Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. The Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Adversaries Act attained unanimous support, with a 414 – 0 vote.

Introduced simultaneously with a proposal that could potentially ban or enforce the sale of TikTok, this bill forbids data brokers from trading Americans’ sensitive information to individuals or entities in hostile nations. It concentrates on the trade of geolocation, financial, health, and biometric data, in addition to personal details such as text message logs and call history, mirroring recent executive orders by President Joe Biden that targeted data brokers.

The bill requires the Senate’s endorsement before being signed into law by the President, which would inflict serious regulation on the broadly unrestricted data broker industry. American officials had previously cautioned about China and other geopolitical foes obtaining substantial amounts of American data from these brokers, raising concerns within the privacy-advocacy community that has been advocating for regulation governing the multibillion-dollar sector.

This bill is the latest significant bipartisan legislation from the House Energy and Commerce committee. The group had previously presented the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act”, which mandates TikTok to separate itself from its parent firm, ByteDance or face a potential ban within the US.

Representatives Frank Pallone and Cathy McMorris Rodgers stated in a joint statement that the current bill continues their efforts to pass the act concentrating on TikTok. They stated that the remarkable approval of the voting highlighted the clear intention of not letting adversaries undermine American national security and individual privacy through purchasing sensitive personal data from data brokers.