March 30, 2023

ICYMI: Warren, Cassidy, Rubio Reintroduce Protecting Military Service Members' Data Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) reintroduced the Protecting Military Service Members’ Data Act of 2023, a bipartisan bill that would protect the data of U.S. service members by preventing data brokers from selling lists of military personnel to adversarial nations including China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

“Right now, Big Tech companies and data brokers are free to sell sensitive personal information from our servicemembers to the highest bidder, including adversarial nations,” said Senator Warren. “This bipartisan legislation will empower the FTC to protect our servicemembers’ personal data.” 

“U.S. service members’ data is a national security and privacy issue,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Enemies like China and Russia should not be able to buy this information. Our law prohibits them from acquiring and using this information to do us harm.”

"It is common sense to prevent big data companies and shady brokers from selling information about our military personnel to foreign adversaries who can use that information to harm our nation. This bill would protect the privacy of service-members and mitigate this obvious national security risk,” said Senator Rubio.

The legislation prohibits data brokers from selling, reselling, trading, licensing, or providing for consideration lists of military service members to adversarial nations. Data brokers openly and explicitly advertise data on millions of Americans, many from sensitive populations such as U.S. military personnel. Today, lists of military personnel, as well as information on their addresses, political beliefs, and lifestyle choices, can legally be sold to adversaries like China, Russia, and Iran, threatening our national security. The legislation: 

  • Gives the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) power to include other relevant vulnerable groups
  • Gives the FTC power to enforce the prohibition, including through rulemaking and independent litigation