US Government Vows To Crack Down Against Data Brokers Selling Users’ Sensitive Personal Data

While regions such as Europe and so many others have stringent laws in play that protect users’ privacy and prevent their sensitive data from being shared with others, the same cannot be said for the US.

There’s been a constant threat and worry linked to the country’s citizens having their sensitive data publicized. This includes details related to income, health, and even their payment history. Moreover, you’ll find several government agencies making the effort of setting out new proposals that are designed to prevent such matters from taking place.

And that’s why the country’s Government is coming forward to try and clamp down against such actions before it's too late. This has to do with data brokers who have a lot of access to such types of details and with no laws in place, the matter is worrisome for obvious reasons.

In other places, you’ll find plenty of privacy rules taking center stage where the country’s regulators ensure too much data of users can’t be gathered and if it is, they keep a strict check on how it’s being used and passed on to others. Above all, you need to have a particular reason in place as to why data is collected in the first place and that reason must be lawful.

This kind of law puts out six reasons through which the data of users is held. That’s either related to showing a justifiable reason or taking the consent of those to whom the data belongs.

When the reason is linked to consent, laws can get super specific. For instance, no firm is given the freedom to include email IDs to databases and they cannot rely upon providing links that are unsubscribeable. Similarly, it needs to have permission before emails can be stored. And you cannot pre-check boxes and then request users to uncheck them if they’re now willing to opt out of the matter.

Secondly, all of the data being put out should be encrypted. Whether your provided consent or not, all data is stored through anonymized means or in an encrypted manner. This is done to make sure that if the organization ends up getting hacked in the end, all information remains safe. And if a person from the workforce does gain access, he should have a lawful reason for doing that.

Thirdly, users would have every right to witness all data that companies hold and would be liable to attain a copy of the data along the way. However, no charges can be filed for data releases. Last but not least, all the data can be deleted when and if the user generates a request to do so. In such cases, no logical explanation is provided for data to get retained so you can insist that’s all removed from a database as that’s your right.

This all sounds great but you’ll be amazed at how such little controls can be found in places like the US. Moreover, some US states like California continue to implement new privacy laws but when you look at things on a more Federal level, you won’t find any protection.

People compare this behavior to the wild west and it’s alarming how people capture and analyze data for all types of scary reasons. Later, that’s sold for free to those who wish to purchase it.

Most firms in this whopping $14 billion industry state that aggregated data is on sale, so many investigations prove how that’s not true. So today, both the FTC and the CFPB are making way for changes and ensuring the broker industry cannot benefit from user data.

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