Bill Would Ban Sale Of Sensitive Data To Foreign Adversaries

Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have introduced a bill that would prohibit data brokers from transferring “sensitive” information to foreign adversaries or companies owned by foreign adversaries.

“This bill prevents adversaries, such as China, from surveilling & manipulating Americans through apps like TikTok,” an account operated by the committee posted Tuesday to X (formerly Twitter).

The Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Adversaries Act (H.R. 7520), put forward by committee chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-New Jersey), is scheduled for a markup on Thursday.

The current version of the bill essentially defines “data broker” as companies that deal in personal data originally collected by other companies.

The types of sensitive data covered by the proposed include a broad array of information -- such as government-issued identifiers (like social security numbers), geolocation data, biometric data, and information about people's online activities over time and across websites or services.

The measure comes one week after President Joe Biden directed the Department of Justice to issue regulations that would protect people's sensitive data from “countries of concern,” which likely includes China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea.

The bill tasks the Federal Trade Commission with enforcement.

Separately, leadership of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party introduced a bill on Tuesday that could result in a ban on the distribution of TikTok.

The “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” introduced by Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) and Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin), would prohibit app stores or “internet hosting services” from offering TikTok, unless sold by its parent company, the China-based ByteDance.

Next story loading loading..