Rush Introduces the Data Accountability and Trust Act

Mar 22, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) introduced H.R. 5388, the “Data Accountability and Trust Act” (DATA Act).

The DATA Act would require the Federal Trade Commission to issue regulations requiring companies that own or possess data containing personal information to establish specified security policies and procedures to treat and protect such information.

Over the weekend, Americans were startled to learn that Cambridge Analytica harvested and sold data from more than 50 million Facebook profiles.  Compounding this outrage is the fact that — in a major breach of confidence that shook the trust of users — Facebook deliberately withheld this information and has proposed no corrective actions.

“If my bill were law today, Facebook users would have learned far earlier that their data was being improperly used and weaponized.  Instead of misrepresenting their intent, Cambridge Analytica would have had to get authorization to use and sell this sort of data and both them and Facebook — who has yet to officially notify its users — would be financially liable for their irresponsible and deceptive behavior,” said Rush.

Specifically, this bill requires notification within 30 days following a breach and clarifies that the unauthorized acquisition, access, or sale of data constitutes a breach.

“Facebook took advantage of the industry’s lack of regulation and knowingly allowed their users to believe their data was safe when, in fact, it was not.  Strong, national data privacy and data protection rules are long overdue.  We can no longer allow companies that hold our personal information to self-regulate when they have proven time and time again that they are incapable of effectively doing so and continue to erode the trust of the American people.  It is long past time for Congress to act and our privacy is on the line so, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this critical matter.”