On November 3, 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law held a hearing entitled "Data Brokers -Is Consumers' Information Secure?" The panel consisted of witnesses from industry and the nonprofit sector, and focused on data security, consumer access and choice, sensitive data, and industry self-regulation.

Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Flake {R-AZ) noted the important role that data brokers play in the economy, such as offering complex risk mitigation and marketing services. Subcommittee Ranking Member AI Franken (D-MN) defined "data brokers" as companies in the business of collecting information about consumers in order to sell it to others for various purposes. He stated that Congress should do more to secure consumers' personal information, especially given the large amounts of data that certain companies maintain.

During the questioning period, Members discussed with panelists whether current federal data security standards needed to be updated and the need for a well-trained cybersecurity workforce. There was discussion about the extent to which consumers have knowledge of and are able to control the collection and use of data by data brokers. Regarding consumer control, the panel addressed online tools that allow consumers to opt out of certain data uses. The panel concluded with a discussion on the potential for industry self-regulation of data security, noting that industry can best assess the risks to the data it maintains and the appropriate level of security. The panel noted that federal data security legislation should set a "high bar" for industry if such legislation were to be considered.