EPIC Urges DOJ to Harmonize Data Broker Regulations with Larger Federal Push Against Commercial Surveillance

April 23, 2024

On April 19, EPIC submitted comments in response to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) advanced notice of proposed rule making (ANPRM) on Provisions Regarding Access to Americans’ Bulk Sensitive Personal Data and Government Related Data to Countries of Concern. DOJ requested comments on how the Attorney General could implement a new program regulating certain types of data transactions that involve bulk U.S. sensitive personal data and government-related data that present an “unacceptable risk to U.S. national security.”

EPIC argues that the ANPRM’s narrow, piecemeal approach to data broker transactions is not the correct one. In its comments, EPIC recommends that DOJ harmonize, to the extent possible, this rule-making with the regulatory efforts seen across the federal government to combat commercial surveillance. EPIC digs into the types of harms identified by DOJ and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and expands on the cost of the commercial surveillance status quo. EPIC also provides feedback on the types of covered data, the types of covered transactions, the usage of strong de-identification standards, and DOJ’s scoping to countries of concern.

EPIC has long advocated for robust safeguards to protect consumers from exploitative data collection, use, distribution, and retention practices. EPIC has filed amicus briefs, regulatory comments, and supported legislation with comprehensive data minimization provisions to protect consumers from commercial surveillance regimes.

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