From Collector: Privacy Policies

Congress continues to focus on federal data privacy legislation, and ACA is making its voice heard.

5/21/2019 8:00 AM

NewsCollector Magazine
From Collector: Privacy Policies

Federal data privacy legislation is a top priority in the 116th Congress, and it appears to be one of the few bipartisan issues with at least partial agreement between the U.S. House and Senate.

Hearings on this topic have already been held in both chambers, in the House Energy and Commerce, Senate Commerce and Senate Judiciary. Other committees of jurisdiction appear poised to discuss this issue as well, and several legislative proposals may take different approaches.

ACA International submitted comment letters for several hearings and has been part of the discussion to ensure that any potential legislation considers what laws members of the accounts receivable management industry are already complying with—and that any new law does not impose duplicative or overly burdensome new requirements on the industry, ACA International’s Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Advocacy Leah Dempsey reports in the May issue of Collector magazine.

Dempsey provides an overview of federal discussions on data privacy legislation in Congress focused in part on the goal to provide greater transparency for individual consumers regarding how entities use their data.

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) both provided consumers with control over how businesses collect and use their personal data.

Currently, among several issues being discussed, a key question is whether any new federal privacy law would pre-empt state laws or coexist with them, Dempsey reports.

In hearing discussions on Capitol Hill, it appeared that the Senate Republican majority was more likely to put forth legislation preempting state law, with the House Democrat majority not as set on federal preemption. California House Democrats have also come out in support of using the CCPA as the model for any federal law.

In the association’s letter to both chambers, ACA outlined that it appreciates that the committees are exploring ways to develop a federal data privacy standard and that it strongly supports the goal of protecting consumers’ privacy and data.

However, ACA pointed out that there are many lawful and important reasons why those in the accounts receivable management industry may collect and store consumer data, Dempsey reports.

Additionally, the letter notes that there are multiple federal laws ACA members are already complying with in this area, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

As Congress moves forward with any potential new laws for federal data privacy, ACA continues to urge Congress to be 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. ACA also reiterates that any federal law preempts state requirements in this area, so that all Americans receive the same level of privacy protections.

Read more on the CCPA and GDPR as well as ongoing conversations between ACA’s advocacy team and members of Congress in Dempsey’s Collector magazine report.

ACA has also been engaged in discussions about how the GDPR should be considered in any new U.S. federal privacy laws, and this will be a topic for discussion at ACA’s Annual Convention & Expo in San Diego July 14-16, 2019.

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