House passes bill banning sale of US personal data to foreign adversaries


The Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Adversaries Act, or HR 7520, would prohibit data brokers from selling Americans’ personally identifiable information to foreign adversaries, including countries like China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Data brokers can face penalties from the Federal Trade Commission if they’re found to have sold sensitive information like location or health data to these countries. The bill sailed through the House, with all 414 lawmakers who voted opting to pass it.

McMorris Rodgers and Pallone said in a joint statement Wednesday that the legislation “builds on our efforts in the House last week to pass H.R. 7521 — with overwhelming and bipartisan support — and serves as an important complement to more comprehensive national data privacy legislation, which we remain committed to working together on.”

Unlike the TikTok bill, this one does not name individual companies. But it imposes a broad limit on data brokers’ ability to “sell, license, rent, trade, transfer, release, disclose, provide access to, or otherwise make available sensitive data of a United States individual” to foreign adversaries or organizations they control. It also gives the Federal Trade Commission authority to enforce the legislation.

The sensitive data covered by the bill includes biometric and genetic information, Social Security numbers, health diagnoses or treatments, and precise geolocation data.

If it passes the Senate and is signed by the president, the bill would provide a significant uptick in data privacy for Americans — but that said, the bar for that is relatively low. Discussions about a broader privacy law have withered in recent years, but the Energy and Commerce leaders say they’re holding out hope that the overwhelming support for the data broker bill can get Congress moving on more ambitious privacy legislation. “We’re encouraged by today’s strong vote, which should help build momentum to get this important bipartisan legislation, as well as more comprehensive privacy legislation, signed into law this Congress,” McMorris Rodgers and Pallone said in their joint statement.



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By asm3a