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Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DUFFY. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate all the work that Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Miller have put into this bill.

My amendment today has to do with the issue of privacy. Listen, technology has been a great thing for America. It has allowed better communication and connectivity amongst our friends and our family members.

With email, cell phones, text, and pictures, we are able to share very intimate parts of our lives with those who are closest to us, but it is not always used with the purest of hearts. Many Americans, including many young Americans, have been concerned about the data collection that comes from the NSA about Americans' emails, texts, and phone records.

We have just learned recently about the information that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is collecting on the American citizenry. They are collecting information on nearly 600 to 800 million credit cards in America.

They are also teaming up with FHFA to form a database that collects information on Americans about their race, their religion, their sex, their payment history, their credit scores, the number of children that they have, their date of birth, their Social Security number.

They have access to all of this information, and I think most Americans would say that is too much information for the government to have.

It just doesn't happen in government though. It also happens in the private sector, without Americans' permission or consent.

My amendment is narrowly focused on this demonstration project, but it requires those schools, universities, and colleges who participate that when they enter into an agreement with an outside company and that outside company can actually sell the personally identifiable information of students to third parties--whether it is for advertisement or just basic data collection for research--they actually have to give notice to the students that their information is going to be sold, and they have give an opportunity for the students to opt out, that their information not be sold to third-party vendors.

This is about empowering students, giving them the power and control over their personally identifiable information, and if they choose to have it sold, so be it. They give permission, just like when they make a post on Facebook or they send a tweet on Twitter, but if they don't give consent, let's not allow schools to take their information and sell it without their permission.

I urge my colleagues to support this amendment in support of our students across the country.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. DUFFY. Listen, I would just make the point to my good friend from Colorado, this is common sense.

If you are able to take a poll of university students--college students and say: Listen, there is an amendment on the floor today that would give you power over your personally identifiable information so schools can't sell it and it can't be used for advertisement or data collection, would you support that amendment, to empower you with your personally identifiable information?

I think the answer would be a resounding ``yes.'' And I have worked with the committee to narrowly tailor this amendment specifically for this demonstration project.

Frankly, I am one who believes this should apply to colleges and universities across the board empowering students. I think if you talk to 20-year-olds and 24-year-olds around the country and what they think about the NSA infringing upon their privacy, they are the ones that were outraged by it.

So I think this makes sense. I guess I am disappointed in the opposition. I believe in our youth in America. I believe they should have the right to their data and how their data is used. So I encourage my colleagues to support this amendment.

Mr. Chairman, with that, I yield back the balance of my time.


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