Bill Wishes to Prohibit Data Brokers from Selling Health and Location Data

A new bill has been launched by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that wishes to prohibit data brokers from selling the health and location information of Americans. The bill called The following senators co-sponsored the Health and Location Data Protection Act

  • Bernie Sanders (I-VT.), Chair of the Senate Budget Committee
  • Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
  • Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chair of the Senate Finance Committee
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Data brokers earn money from the location details of a lot of people, presenting considerable risks to Americans everywhere by vending their most confidential details, stated Senator Warren. Having this extremist Supreme Court set to overturn Roe v. Wade and states wanting to criminalize important health care, it is more critical than ever for Congress to safeguard consumers’ sensitive information.

Presently, data brokers are mostly not regulated by federal legislation, yet they are gathering highly sensitive details from Americans, which include their location. That data is collected from a big variety of mobile apps and, in lots of instances, the data is gathered without express user permission. That information is then made available for profit to practically anybody ready to pay the price. That data has been utilized to circumvent the Fourth Amendment and stalk and harass individuals. On several occasions, data brokers have been found to be selling cellphone-based location information of individuals visiting abortion clinics, which has placed the safety of women in danger who are looking for healthcare.

If passed, the Health and Location Data Protection Act will bar information brokers from vending or transferring the location and health details of Americans to rein in giant data brokers and use long-overdue regulations for this $200 billion business. The bill requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue guidelines to enforce the new rules within 180 days and will enable the state attorneys general, FTC, and injured people to sue data brokers to impose the conditions of the law. The bill will furthermore make sure that the FTC has $1 billion in funding over the next 10 years so it can do its work and can implement the legislation. The law will have exclusions for HIPAA-compliant activities, secured First Amendment speech, and validly approved disclosures.

When abortion is illegal, searching reproductive health care on the internet, updating a period-monitoring app, or bringing a phone to the doctor’s office all could be employed to track and prosecute women throughout the U.S. It amounts to uterus surveillance. Congress should secure the privacy of Americans from abuse by far-right politicians who would like to manage women’s bodies. Sen Wyden is happy to work with Senator Warren to introduce the Health and Location Data Protection Act.

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Christine Garcia is the staff writer on Calculated HIPAA. Christine has several years experience in writing about healthcare sector issues with a focus on the compliance and cybersecurity issues. Christine has developed in-depth knowledge of HIPAA regulations. You can contact Christine at [email protected]. You can follow Christine on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ChrisCalHIPAA