House Passes Legislation on Consumer Data Security

By David Bruggeman
December 11, 2009

On December 9 the House passed two bills that could affect how consumers use peer-to-peer software and how their personal information is used. We wrote about these bills when they passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee back in September.

This marks the first time the Data Accountability and Trust Act, H.R. 2221, has managed to make it to the House floor. Also called the DATA Act, the bill requires the Federal Trade Commission to set regulations over data security policy for entities that keep personal information and sell that information. The changes made to the bill between markup and House passage are minor, and mainly provide additional detail or clarification.

The Informed Peer-to-Peer User Act, H.R. 1319, would change how consumers interact with certain peer-to-peer software, making it more obvious when the program is operating and what files can be accessed by this program. Changes to this bill between markup and House passage were also minor.

The bills move to the Senate for committee review, and it will probably be a few months before the full Senate considers them, if it decides to do so.