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Foster Introduces DASHBOARD Act

Oct 5, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) announced introduction of H.R. 8512, the Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight And Regulations on Data (DASHBOARD) Act, legislation that would require data harvesting companies such as social media platforms to tell consumers and financial regulators exactly what data they are collecting from consumers and how it is being leveraged by the platform for profit.

The DASHBOARD Act will:

  • Require commercial data operators (defined as services with over 100 million monthly active users) to disclose types of data collected as well as regularly provide their users with an assessment of the value of that data.
  • Require commercial data operators to file an annual report on the aggregate value of user data they’ve collected, as well as contracts with third parties involving data collection.
  • Require commercial data operators to allow users to delete all, or individual fields, of data collected – and disclose to users all the ways in which their data is being used, including any uses not directly related to the online service for which the data was originally collected.
  • Empower the SEC to develop methodologies for calculating data value, while encouraging the agency to facilitate flexibility to enable businesses to adopt methodologies that reflect the different uses, sectors, and business models.

“Social media companies have been cashing in on user data without transparency for too long,” Foster said. “Even though these platforms are “free” to use, consumers pay with their unique data, which the companies collect and sell to third parties for things like targeted ads. Consumers should know how much their data is worth to the platforms they use and who it’s being shared with, and they should have the ability to remove their individual data from a given platform. I’m proud to lead this legislation in the House, in tandem with Senate legislation led by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO).”

A copy of the DASHBOARD Act is available here. The Senate companion bill is here.