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Rep. Fallon Introduces Protecting Military Servicemembers' Data Act

Washington, December 5, 2023 | Peter Vicenzi (202-225-6673)
Tags: Defense

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Pat Fallon (TX-04) is proud to introduce H.R. 6573, the Protecting Military Servicemembers' Data Act of 2023. This bill would prohibit data brokers from selling, reselling, trading, licensing, or providing for consideration lists of U.S. military service members to adversarial nations. Rep. Fallon is proud to introduce this bipartisan, bicameral piece of legislation with fellow Texan, Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33).

"It is a travesty that sensitive and highly detailed personal data for thousands of active-duty service members is up for sale to the highest bidder, including adversarial nations," said Congressman Pat Fallon. "Importantly, the bill would protect the data of U.S. service members by stopping data brokers from selling lists of military personnel data to adversarial nations, including China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The personal and private data of our military personnel must be protected, and the Protecting Military Servicemembers’ Data Act takes a step towards preventing this risk."

“We need to do all we can to protect the personal and private data of our brave servicemembers against malicious online attacks," said Congressman Marc Veasey. "Today, I was proud to join Congressman Pat Fallon to introduce the Protecting Military Service Members’ Data Act of 2023 that will prohibit data brokers from giving servicemembers’ data to adversarial nations.”

Bill background: 

A recent study from Duke University warned that “the data can be easily obtained and used by malicious actors to target current and former military personnel, their families, and acquaintances with a myriad of schemes, including blackmail and misinformation campaigns.

Researchers contacted 12 data brokers to collect personal information on military personnel. They collected data from nearly 45,000 military personnel and bought data belonging to approximately 5,000 friends and family members of military members. This data includes full names, physical and email addresses, health and financial information, details about their ethnicity, religious practices, political affiliation, marital status, home ownership, and even data about their children. This is a national security risk.

Specifically, the bill would: 

  • Prohibit data brokers from trading military service members' data with adversarial nations
  • Give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement power under the Unfair and Deceptive Acts of Practice
    • Allow for civil charges as an enforcement mechanism

The bill currently has 17 co-sponsors: Reps. Marc Veasey (TX-33), Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Lance Gooden (TX-05), Corey Mills (FL-07), Stephanie Bice (OK-05), Burgess Owens (UT-04), Zach Nunn (IA-03), Tom Cole (OK-04), Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13), Dusty Johnson (SD-AL), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Rich McCormick (GA-06), Eli Crane (AZ-02), Randy Feenstra (IA-04), Rob Wittman (VA-01), Carlos Gimenez (FL-28), and Don Davis (NC-01). 

A companion bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).