US Government Agencies Soon-To-Be Barred From Purchasing User Data

The American House of Representatives has made it very clear that the purchasing of user data is prohibited and a serious violation after a new bill was recently passed in this regard.

While it still needs to be approved by the Senate, the matter is a very controversial one as that means officials will no longer get access to the ability to have such information at their fingertips, no matter what the need may be.

This could be linked to user apps, their locations, and even any activity being carried out online.

For now, the Not For Sale Act would force law and intelligence agencies to get special court orders before they can purchase the data through online databases that fall under the ownership of data brokers. Similarly, it would stop the agencies from having the ability to purchase the information attained via deception or breaching of user privacy policy.

So many federal agencies are not in the practice of following laws and simply find it easy to get such customized information. These measures were first rolled out in the year 2021 by the Senate and they’re now getting more traction for enforcement as a growing number of concerns have arisen regarding user data being up for grabs.

One Rep who reintroduced this bill inside the US House of Reps in 2023 mentioned yesterday how the bill would really be beneficial in terms of shutting down any loopholes that give federal agencies the chance to buy American data from so many growing tech firms without any of them having court orders in place.

We’ve seen some self-regulatory privacy entities working more on this front as well who claim to show immense support for such bills after it was first unveiled.

Many activists have referred to this practice of nonconsensual sale of consumer data as something that’s not ethical. They have long talked about how it serves as a major privacy threat for people and at the end of the day, it threatens how viable such data-driven forms of advertising can be.

A few days back, a leading digital activists group called Electronic Frontier Foundation spoke about how such a passing of the bill in the House of Representatives was a major win.

And that makes sense because it comes during an era where Congress could not pass any privacy protections so seeing even smaller wins like these is a major victory for those deemed to be vulnerable or end up serving as silent victims.

Users are so scared to open locations, fearing they’re being tracked when that is clearly against the law. So such rules can only give rise to more freedom and is a massive win for activists who have been fighting for these fundamental rights for years, only to get a bill now.

So yes, we’re now waiting for it to become a law and we’ll keep you updated on that front.

Image: DIW-aigen

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