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Warren proposes sweeping ban on location and well being knowledge gross sales

Because the Supreme Courtroom’s anticipated determination to overturn Roe v. Wade looms over Washington, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has introduced sweeping laws to ban the sale of location and well being knowledge.

Warren’s Well being and Location Safety Act — cosponsored by a slate of Democratic senators, together with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) — would bar “knowledge brokers from promoting or transferring location knowledge and well being knowledge.” There are few limitations, making the invoice some of the strident proposals geared toward regulating knowledge gross sales.

“Knowledge brokers revenue from the situation knowledge of thousands and thousands of individuals, posing critical dangers to People in every single place by promoting their most personal info,” Warren mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday. “With this extremist Supreme Courtroom poised to overturn Roe v. Wade and states in search of to criminalize important well being care, it’s extra essential than ever for Congress to guard shoppers’ delicate knowledge.”

If authorized, the invoice would empower the Federal Commerce Fee, state attorneys common, and folks damage by an illegal knowledge sale to sue brokers discovered to have violated the legislation. The FTC would additionally obtain a further $1 billion over the following decade to help in imposing the legislation. The one exceptions to the invoice apply to particular actions protected by HIPAA or the First Modification, in keeping with the textual content of the invoice.

Motherboard was the primary to report on Warren’s invoice on Wednesday, following weeks of reporting describing how corporations promote the situation knowledge belonging to smartphone customers who’ve visited abortion clinics. In Might, Motherboard reported {that a} location knowledge agency,, allowed customers to create “warmth maps” of the place abortion clinic guests stay.

“When abortion is against the law, researching reproductive well being care on-line, updating a period-tracking app, or bringing a cellphone to the physician’s workplace all may very well be used to trace and prosecute girls throughout the U.S. It quantities to uterus surveillance,” Wyden mentioned in a Wednesday assertion. “Congress should shield People’ privateness from abuse by far-right politicians who wish to management girls’s our bodies.”

Final month, Warren signed on to a letter, led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), requesting that FTC Chair Lina Khan clarify how the patron safety company investigates potential location monitoring abuses and what sources it might want to higher shield shoppers.

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