Privacy Laws: Should Congress Wait For States Before Acting?

By Jeff Sovern, St. John’s University via The Conversation

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called privacy the “right to be let alone.” Perhaps Congress should give states trying to protect consumer data the same right.

For years, a gridlocked Congress ignored privacy, apart from occasionally scolding companies such as Equifax and Marriott after their major data breaches. In its absence, states have taken the lead in experimenting with privacy-related laws.

California, for example, recently passed legislation giving citizens the right to know what data businesses have on them – and to block the information’s sale to third parties. It’s the first of […] Read more

Data Privacy Laws — U.S. Citizens Lack Protections


Think of all the questions you can’t answer about your data right now.

There is a new custom among humans, the custom of clicking a box that says, “OK” when you haven’t read the tens of thousands of words of microprint on the software use agreement you are entering. Out of this understandable absence of mind, an enormous industry arises. This industry trades in our personal data, the passively-generated facts about where, and with whom, we spend our time, what stories we visit, who we talk to, and what we say.

This enormous trade in data is not, as it currently exists, […] Read more

Bill seeks to exempt pre-2014 mortgages from foreclosure laws

Bill seeks to exempt pre-2014 mortgages from foreclosure laws – Cyprus Mail

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We Warn Congress: After Equifax, Firms Will Step Up Trojan Horse Efforts to Eliminate State Privacy Laws

Like clockwork, after any big data breach is disclosed, powerful special interests seek to turn the problem into a bigger problem for consumers by using it as an opportunity to enact some sort of narrow federal legislation that broadly eliminates state data breach notification, state data security and other privacy protections.  I testified yesterday in the House Financial Services Committee (link to full hearing archive and video transcript) warning of their efforts. I warned in particular of their Trojan Horse efforts to hide their broader plans. They don’t simply want to create a “uniform national breach law.” Inside that Trojan […] Read more

Equifax data breach: Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey to sue for violating state consumer protection laws

Equifax is under new government pressure to explain how hackers stole the personal data of as many as 143 million Americans. The House Energy and Commerce Committee summoned the company’s CEO to testify at a hearing next month. Since revealing the massive security breach, the company has been besieged by angry consumers and a variety of state and federal officials who all want answers. About 40 state attorneys general are also investigating.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey

[…] Read more