12.11.18

Senator David Perdue Acts To Protect Farmers and Businesses’ Private Data

Introduces Bills To Protect Intellectual Property

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), member of both the Senate Agriculture and Banking Committees, is taking action to require government regulators to prove a need before they copy and store data from private individuals and businesses.  

The Protection of Source Code Act(s) would require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Consumer Finance Trade Commission (CFTC) to obtain a court subpoena in order to make a business disclose their trading algorithms. These algorithms and other intellectual property are the foundation of many companies. If that information is hacked or becomes public, then the company loses the entirety of their business.

“After recent hacks of government agencies and businesses, it is irresponsible for the federal government to needlessly collect private data,” said Senator Perdue. “In the business world, unique trading algorithms give companies their competitive edge. An entire farming operation or small business could be devastated if their intellectual property is compromised in a cybersecurity breach. It’s clear federal government regulators should be required to obtain a subpoena to access this kind of sensitive data.”

Background:

  • In 2015, the CFTC issued a proposed rule that would require companies to provide their proprietary source code data at the request of CFTC staff. This proposal raised concerns because of the confidentiality of source code data to their trading algorithms. Additional concerns were raised that the SEC would issue a similar rule.
  • In 2017, the SEC’s EDGAR system was hacked, raising concerns about the commission’s cybersecurity capabilities.
  • This bill preempts any effort by the SEC to compel individuals to surrender their source code, protecting companies’ intellectual property from misappropriation or cyber theft.
  • Similar language passed the House of Representatives on February 14, 2018.

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Senator Perdue is the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress and is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Agriculture Committees.