Privacy, Security Management

House panel OKs pair of data privacy bills

SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 01: In this photo illustration, the Tik Tok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on November 01, 2019 in San Anselmo, California. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has started a national security investigation of social media app TikTok after Beijing ByteDance Technology Co acqu...

Separate data privacy measures cracking down on TikTok and data brokers have been unanimously approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, reports The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.

Under the first bill, TikTok would only be permitted to continue U.S. operations should it divest from its parent firm ByteDance, which lawmakers said was associated with the Chinese Communist Party, within 180 days. Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., allayed fears that the TikTok-targeted legislation would prompt increased government intrusion into apps, stating that only apps determined to be controlled by China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran would be prohibited in the U.S. On the other hand, data brokers and companies would be banned from selling Americans' data to the U.S.'s adversaries under the second bill. Even though the passage of the data broker legislation has gained favor among privacy experts, more controls are still needed. "It is long past time for Congress to enact comprehensive privacy protections that include a strong data minimization standard, protect civil rights online, and provide for robust enforcement to stop harmful commercial surveillance practices," said Electronic Privacy Information Center Executive Director Alan Butler.

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