Democratic senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is calling for an investigation into the sale of Americans’ data to U.S. government agencies.
In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Wyden cited a report by The Wall Street Journal that found that at least eight companies have sold data – including location data, credit-card transaction data, and other personal information – to agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Wyden called the data sales “a flagrant violation of Americans’ constitutional rights,” and said that the FTC should investigate whether the companies involved violated the law.
The Wall Street Journal report found that the data was sold without the knowledge or consent of the people involved, and that it was used to track the movements of Americans without a warrant.
Wyden has long been a critic of the use of Americans’ data by the government, and has introduced legislation that would require the government to get a warrant before accessing Americans’ location data.
The senator’s letter to the FTC comes as the commission is already investigating the use of data by companies like Facebook and Google.
The FTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A U.S. senator is seeking a federal investigation into the sale of data to government agencies, after a report showed that a data broker sold information on millions of Americans to the U.S. military.
The report, published by investigative news website The Intercept, said the data was used for a military program called “Project Maven” that used artificial intelligence to analyze video footage and improve the accuracy of drone strikes.
The data included sensitive information such as addresses, driver’s license photos, and other personal information.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday, asking the agency to investigate the sale of data to government agencies.
“I am concerned that these companies may be violating consumers’ privacy rights and breaching their trust,” Grassley wrote in the letter.
Grassley also asked the FTC to investigate whether the data broker, AI company Persistent Systems, violated the terms of its user agreement with the website it got the data from.
Persistent Systems did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Intercept report said that Persistent Systems was not the only data broker that sold data to the U.S. military. It said that at least two other companies, including one that sells data to the FBI, have sold data to the military.
Data brokers have come under increased scrutiny in recent years, as more and more companies have started collecting data on consumers.
The FTC has been investigating the data broker industry for years, and has taken action against some companies that have violated consumers’ privacy rights.
Grassley’s letter to the FTC comes as Congress is considering a number of data privacy bills that would set new rules for how companies can collect and use data.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect last year, sets strict rules for how companies can collect and use data.
The U.S. does not have a federal law that regulates data brokers.
Data brokers are broadly defined as companies that collect, process, and sell data. They are often described as the “middlemen” of the data economy.
There are an estimated 4,000 data brokers in the U.S., and they sell data on everything from consumer behavior to personal financial information.
The data they sell is used by marketers, insurers, and landlords, among others.
Many data brokers operate in the shadows, and consumers are often unaware that their data is being collected and sold.
Critics say that data brokers violate consumers’ privacy rights and contribute to a growing surveillance state.
Proponents of data brokers say that they provide a valuable service by helping businesses target their products and services to consumers.
Data brokers typically collect data from a variety of sources, including public records, social media, and purchase data.
Some data brokers also buy data from companies that have collected it through loyalty programs, online surveys, and other means.
A senator is seeking a federal investigation into the sale of data to U.S. government agencies, amid concerns that the practice could pose a national security risk.
Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, wrote to the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday asking the agency to look into the matter.
“I am concerned that these firms may be selling Americans’ sensitive personal information to our government without the consent of the people involved,” Wyden wrote.
Wyden’s letter comes amid reports that the U.S. Army is investigating whether a fitness tracker app revealed the locations of military personnel.
The Associated Press reported last week that the Army is looking into whether the app Strava’s heat map feature could be used to identify the locations of secret military bases and equipment.
In his letter, Wyden cited the Strava incident as an example of the potential national security risks posed by the sale of data to the government.
“This is particularly worrisome in light of recent news reports that the U.S. military is using commercial fitness tracking devices and apps, like Strava, that could potentially reveal the location of sensitive facilities and the identity of service members,” Wyden wrote.
Wyden asked the FTC to investigate whether companies are selling data to the government without the knowledge or consent of the people involved. He also asked the agency to look into whether the companies are adequately protecting the data they collect.
“If companies are selling Americans’ sensitive personal information to the government without the consent of the people involved, then those companies are not living up to their promises to protect consumers’ privacy,” Wyden wrote.
Twitter Inc. will continue to cooperate with the U.S. government’s requests for user data, but will also push back when it believes the requests are overly broad, the social media company’s public policy team said in a blog post on Thursday.
The post came hours after U.S. Senator Josh Hawley said he had sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking it to investigate whether Twitter sells user data to U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
In his letter, Hawley said Twitter’s public policy team had recently told him in a meeting that the company does not “Proactively” sell user data to these agencies, but may do so in response to specific requests.
Twitter’s public policy team said in the blog post that the company had not sold user data to any government entity in the past and had no plans to do so in the future.
The team added that Twitter provides user data to governments in response to “valid and lawfullyRay requested” information requests, but that it would push back when it believed the requests were “overly broad or otherwise improper.”
Twitter has come under fire in recent months for its handling of user data, particularly after it was revealed that the personal data of 87 million users was improperly accessed by Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm.
Senator Ron Wyden is calling for a federal investigation into the sale of Americans’ data to government agencies.
Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, wrote a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez on Thursday asking her to open an inquiry into the matter.
“I am concerned that companies may be selling Americans’ information to the government without their knowledge or consent,” Wyden wrote.
He pointed to a report from The Wall Street Journal that found that some data brokers have been selling information to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies.
Wyden asked the FTC to investigate whether the data sales are legal and whether the companies are properly disclosing them to consumers.
“The selling of Americans’ information without their knowledge or consent raises serious privacy concerns,” Wyden wrote.
“If companies are selling Americans’ information to the government, consumers must be notified and given the opportunity to opt out.”
The Wall Street Journal report found that data brokers have been selling information on Americans’ purchasing habits, travel plans and other personal data to government agencies.
The report also found that the data is often used for marketing purposes, but can also be used for law enforcement and national security purposes.
A U.S. Senator is seeking an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into data sales to U.S. government agencies. The Senator believes that these sales may be harmful to consumers and wants the FTC to determine whether they are illegal.
The Senator has pointed to reports that data brokers have been selling personal information to government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security. The Senator is concerned that these sales may violate consumer privacy rights and wants the FTC to investigate whether they are illegal.
The data brokers that have been selling to government agencies are likely doing so in compliance with the law. However, the Senator believes that consumers should be aware of these sales and the potential risks to their privacy. He is also concerned that the data being sold may be used to target consumers for marketing purposes.
The Senator’s request for an investigation is a welcome development. The FTC should carefully examine the data sales to government agencies to ensure that they are legal and do not violate consumer privacy rights.