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Data brokers are undermining country’s safety, privacy and security “In Jersey and beyond, our law enforcement, judges and elected officials are putting both their privacy and lives on the line to serve. We must take steps in Congress and beyond to protect the well-being of those who choose to work for the people. New Jersey saw the acute need for privacy for our public officials in 2020, after witnessing the senseless killing of 20-year-old Daniel Anderl. Daniel’s killer targeted his mother, U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, and located her family because their address was publicly available. Tragically, she became a target because of her public service. In response, the state of New Jersey took action and passed “Daniel’s Law,” which created protections to ensure the sensitive data of public servants and their families would not be publicly accessible. The law also targeted third-party data brokers who make billions of dollars each by selling people’s personal information, including public officials’. Now, four years later, Daniel’s Law is recklessly being undermined by data brokers yet again — this time, endangering our law enforcement. Recently, more than 18,000 New Jersey law enforcement personnel filed a class action lawsuit against LexisNexis Risk Data Management, one arm of a sprawling empire. These officers claim that LexisNexis retaliated against them after exercising their right to remove personal, identifying information under Daniel’s Law. LexisNexis allegedly froze their credit, falsely claiming the officers were identity theft victims, and seriously hurt their credit histories. This case illustrates a fundamental problem. Data brokers’ sprawling influence over the lives of American consumers undermines our safety, privacy and security. These brokers influence Americans’ credit history, which in turn impacts their ability to access credit, insurance services, mortgages and health care. Individuals who want to shield their data from brokers, including the law enforcement personnel from New Jersey, have a lot to lose if something goes wrong. And, their only recourse is the courts, which is both expensive and slow. We need stronger industry guardrails to protect consumers and ensure due process…”

See also Data Brokers and the Sale of Data on U.S. Military Personnel – “The data brokerage ecosystem is a multi-billion-dollar industry comprised of companies gathering, inferring, aggregating, and then selling, licensing, and sharing data on Americans as well as providing technological services based on that data. After previously discovering that data brokers were advertising data about current and former U.S. military personnel, this study sought to understand (a) what kinds of data that data brokers were gathering and selling about military servicemembers and (b) the risk that a foreign actor, such as a foreign adversary government, could acquire the data to undermine U.S. national security. This study involved scraping hundreds of data broker websites to look for terms like “military” and “veteran,” contacting U.S. data brokers from a U.S. domain to inquire about and purchase data on the U.S. military, and contacting U.S. data brokers from a .asia domain to inquire about and purchase the same. It concludes with a discussion of the risks to U.S. military servicemembers and U.S. national security, paired with policy recommendations for the federal government to address the risks at hand.”

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