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Facebook scandal could drive greater protections for consumer health data

Fueled by Facebook’s failure to safeguard the data of users of its social media platform, lawmakers in Congress are looking to protect the online privacy of Americans through wide-ranging legislation that could have significant effects on the handling of health information.

The Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly (BROWSER) Act would require both Internet service providers (ISPs) and “edge service” vendors—such as Facebook—to give consumers opt-in or opt-out rights for sharing certain sensitive data, including health information, with third parties.

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