In 2015, a data broker helped anti-abortion groups target women in clinic waiting rooms. The Massachusetts attorney general decided to act.
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Three data brokers knowingly sold Americans’ data to scammers—and the Department of Justice charged them.
The laws already in California and Vermont do not put any meaningful controls on companies selling, licensing and otherwise sharing Americans’ sensitive data on the open market—and the new bills are no different.
Rather than focusing on single vectors of data collection and transmission, the U.S. government must respond comprehensively to the many vectors of data collection, aggregation, buying, selling and sharing that pose risks to national security.
The trend underscores the broader threats posed by the unregulated data brokerage ecosystem to civil rights and national security.
CFIUS forced a Chinese firm to sell Grindr in 2019. Yet the application is sharing data widely today, including to a company in China.
Some U.S. laws and documents provide a foundation. But is a distinction between “data brokers” and the practice of “data brokerage” the right approach?