Lexis Parent RELX brought on four new outside firms last year and spent nearly $3.2 million lobbying Washington in 2023

Politico reports

RELX ADDS ANOTHER: RELX, the U.K.-based data broker that owns data analytics company LexisNexis, added Venable back into its rotation of outside lobbying firms earlier this year amid an amendment battle over limiting data sharing between brokers and law enforcement.

— Venable Chair Stu Ingis and Milo Cividanes, who co-leads the firm’s e-commerce, privacy and cybersecurity practice, began working for RELX on Feb. 6 on “potential privacy, data security, breach notification, data broker, and FISA reform legislation” from the House and “service member data matters” in the Senate, according to a disclosure filing.

— Venable last worked for RELX from 2005 to 2018, lobbying filings show. Lobbying by data brokers like RELX has surged over the past five years as Washington has pushed to rein in the data broker industry and put in place a federal data privacy framework. RELX brought on four new outside firms last year and spent nearly $3.2 million lobbying Washington in 2023 — its most since 2008 — as it pushed for looser restrictions on what data brokers can share with law enforcement and other federal agencies.

— The same issue contributed to the collapse of congressional negotiations to reauthorize controversial spy powers earlier this year, with law enforcement groups and national security hawks mobilizing to block an amendment that would ban data brokers from selling consumer data to law enforcement and require a warrant before searching for Americans’ information. House Speaker Mike Johnson ended up withdrawing the bill from consideration on Feb. 14, but a temporary FISA extension is set to expire later this month.

— Congress’ efforts to establish regulatory guardrails for artificial intelligence and force TikTok’s divestiture from its Chinese parent company have added a new layer of urgency to stalled data privacy proposals. And a bipartisan group of senators last year introduced a bill aimed at preventing data brokers from selling lists of military personnel data after a report from Duke University found sales of such data to buyers both in the U.S. and abroad.

— Meanwhile, one of RELX’s subsidiaries is facing a lawsuit after The New York Times reported last month that data firms like LexisNexis Risk Solutions had been providing detailed information collected by automakers about drivers’ behavior to insurance companies — prompting calls for an FTC investigation.