Senators introduce bill to prevent border agency from selling personal data

Senators introduce bill to prevent border agency from selling personal data
© Greg Nash

A group of senators on Friday will introduce a bipartisan bill aimed at preventing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from selling citizens' personal data, in an effort to reduce identity theft and credit card fraud.

The bill, sponsored by Sens. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesFilm producer drowns while making political ad in Montana Trump throws support behind 'no brainer' measure to ban burning of American flag House panel advances bill to create cybersecurity standards for government IT devices MORE (R-Mont.) and Gary PetersGary Charles PetersSenate panel advances bill to protect government devices against cyber threats Democrats make U-turn on calling border a 'manufactured crisis' Hillicon Valley: GOP senator wants one agency to run tech probes | Huawei expects to lose B in sales from US ban | Self-driving car bill faces tough road ahead | Elon Musk tweets that he 'deleted' his Twitter account MORE (D-Mich.), would close a legal loophole that allows CBP to sell certain personal information to third-party data brokers when they move overseas.

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The measure, which is being reintroduced in both chambers, would require CBP to remove personally identifiable information from any manifests produced when Americans move their belongings into or out of the country.

Those documents typically have personal information like residential addresses, Social Security numbers and passport numbers. The information is included when CBP releases certain shipment data, making the sensitive information publicly available.

This has led to some instances of identity theft and credit card fraud.

The bill, which was introduced in 2017 but stalled in the previous Congress, is aimed at safeguarding the personal information of Americans making international moves. It would amend the Tariff Act of 1930 to prevent the disclosure of personal information contained in manifests when CBP releases shipment data.

The measure is also backed by GOP Sens. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenMcConnell ups pressure on White House to get a budget deal Senators introduce bill to prevent border agency from selling personal data Overnight Energy: Bipartisan Senate group seeks more funding for carbon capture technology | Dems want documents on Interior pick's lobbying work | Officials push to produce more electric vehicle batteries in US MORE (N.D.), James LankfordJames Paul LankfordGOP senators divided over approach to election security Hillicon Valley: Facebook unveils new cryptocurrency | Waters wants company to halt plans | Democrats look to force votes on election security | Advertisers partner with tech giants on 'digital safety' | House GOP unveils cyber agenda Democrats detail new strategy to pressure McConnell on election security bills MORE (Okla.) and Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanSenators weigh potential security risks from Chinese-made drones August recess under threat as yearly spending bills pile up Overnight Health Care: Liberals rip Democratic leaders for writing drug pricing bill in secret | Dems demand answers from company that shelters migrant kids | Measles cases top 1,000 MORE (Alaska).

“Montanans and the American people need assurance that their private information is safeguarded from all threats,” Daines said in a statement. “This commonsense legislation ensures transparency as well as security in protecting our citizens from identity theft and fraud.”