February 28, 2024 — Press Release

WASHINGTON – In response to an executive order issued today by President Biden to prevent the sale of Americans’ sensitive personal information to countries of concern, National Consumer Law Center senior attorney Chi Chi Wu issued the following statement:

“The President’s emergency order shows that irresponsible data brokers aren’t just a threat to consumers, they’re a threat to national security. Avaricious data brokers selling sensitive personal data to criminal enterprises is nothing new. The FTC once caught Choicepoint (now part of LexisNexis) selling data to identity thieves and imposed a $10 million civil penalty–the biggest fine in FTC history at the time.  

“We need strong regulation to make sure data brokers are handling our data responsibly. In addition to the Department of Justice rulemaking, the President’s Executive Order mentions the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s plan to issue a rule to govern data brokers under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We urge the CFPB to issue a proposed rule as soon as possible. Congress also should act, but any data broker laws should not override stronger state laws or impinge on the scope of the FCRA.”

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