ACA Urges Congress to Consider Federal Data Privacy Laws Creating Equal Protections for Consumers
Potential new laws for federal data privacy should also limit overly complex standards for accounts receivable management companies that already work carefully to protect consumer data and comply with multiple existing federal laws.
2/26/2019 1:00 PM
Senate and House leaders are meeting this week in hearings to explore federal data privacy standards to protect consumers.
The current landscape in this area is robust including sweeping and complex state legislation such as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which also touches many businesses outside of California.
ACA International submitted letters to the Senate Commerce Committee and House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce in support of protecting the privacy of consumers and their data while asking for consideration of the accounts receivable management industry’s role in already protecting consumer data as any potential new laws for federal data privacy move forward.
“We strongly support the goal of protecting the privacy of consumers and their data. However, there are many lawful and important reasons why those in the accounts receivable management industry may collect and store consumer data,” said ACA International CEO Mark Neeb. “As Congress moves forward, it is critical that it is diligent in ensuring legitimate businesses are not faced with insurmountable regulatory burdens surrounding data privacy laws, particularly if they stifle innovation.”
The House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce held a hearing, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in the Era of Big Data,” Feb. 26.
U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said in prepared remarks at the hearing Tuesday:
I believe it is important that we work together toward a bipartisan federal privacy bill that:
- Improves transparency, accountability, and security for consumers;
- Protects innovation and small businesses; and,
- Sets one national standard.
“There are many policy areas where it makes sense for states to innovate, however, the internet does not stop at state lines and neither should innovative privacy and security solutions.” Walden said. “Your privacy and security should not change depending on where you are in the United States. One state should not set the standards for the rest of the country. We can improve the security and privacy of consumers’ data without adding to the confusion or harming small businesses and entrepreneurs – so Congress should thoughtfully consider what various states are proposing so we deliver that certainty with a national standard.”
The Senate Commerce Committee will meet for a hearing “Policy Principles for a Federal Data Privacy Framework in the United States,” at 10 a.m. Eastern Feb. 27.
The Senate hearing will examine what Congress should do to address risks to consumers and implement data privacy protections for all Americans, according to a news release from the committee. The committee exercises jurisdiction over the Federal Trade Commission, which is the primary enforcement agency for consumer privacy and information security protections.
“In an age of rapid innovation in technology, consumers need transparency in how their data is collected and used,” U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said in the news release. “It is this committee’s responsibility and obligation to develop a federal privacy standard to protect consumers without stifling innovation, investment, or competition. As we continue to examine this critically important issue, I hope this first hearing will offer valuable insights that will help set the stage for meaningful bipartisan legislation.”
ACA International looks forward to continuing engagement with the Senate Commerce Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee on federal data privacy laws.
“As Congress moves forward with any potential new laws for federal data privacy, we ask that it is cautious not to create any duplicative, conflicting, or overly complex standards for those in the accounts receivable management industry who already work carefully to protect consumer data,” Neeb said. “We strongly urge Congress that any law going forward should pre-empt state requirements in this area, so that all Americans receive the same level of privacy protections.”
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