Burns: Protect consumers from tech companies selling personal information

Proposes ‘data broker’ registration, easier opt-out process

EBENSBURG, June 30 – Saying it’s time to strike a blow in favor of privacy rights, state Rep. Frank Burns wants to regulate online data brokers and make it more convenient for consumers to opt out of any sale of their personal information.

Today Burns, D-Cambria, introduced H.B. 2715, which would create a “one-stop-shop” to curb the all-too-common practice of gathering all types of information on people and reselling it to third parties without their knowledge or consent.

“When a person purchases something through a website, or enrolls in a loyalty program, or does an online search, they do not expect it to be captured as data and resold to some third party – yet that’s happening all the time,” Burns said. “I want to make it harder for these faceless, shadowy figures to operate, and help you get their noses out of your business.”

Burns’ bill would establish a data broker registration within the state Office of Attorney General – and would require such brokers to register yearly with that office. His bill would also require that consumers be provided with information on how to opt out of the sale of their personal information.

“If someone doesn’t want their personal life or transactions mined, packaged and sold to a nebby third party interested in using it for their own enrichment, they should be informed on how to keep that from happening,” Burns said. “Privacy is an unalienable right for all people. Data broker registration will ensure that Pennsylvanians will be better informed about who is collecting their data, how it is being used, and how to put an end to it if they choose.”