Nowadays when you make a purchase either online or at the store as part of a rewards program, the company you buy from could be using your data.
Rep. Larry Bucshon, a Republican from Indiana’s southwestern congressional district, is wanting to make sure the data these companies are using is protected. In a subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill Monday, Bucshon voiced his support for the American Data Privacy and Protection Act.
In a nutshell, the bill would bolster the requirements for companies to safely take in, use, and store the data of their customers. Bucshon, though always supportive of the bill, had had concerns with it namely because of its lack of consideration for small businesses.
“I see some marked improvements,” Bucshon said in his statement of support for the bill. “For example, the increased thresholds for who will be classified as ‘small business’ under the bill will help ensure that they are protected and provided the flexibilities they need.”
But, he said there are still some things he feels need to be addressed. Customer loyalty programs are one thing, in particular, he pointed out since most companies rely on third-party customer data to provide their services.
Third-party data companies essentially pay publishers of online information from people who are viewing their published material. They then sell that data to advertisers or companies who use that information to better market products to consumers.
Subjects like this are concerning to Bucshon and he feels consumers should be able to exercise more control over how their data is used by these entities.
“Ultimately, I’m supportive of giving consumers more power to control, keep private, and delete their data,” said Bucshon. “But, we must carefully evaluate the language we use to avoid unintended consequences.”
The bill is expected to advance out of committee to the full House soon.