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Consumer Watchdog Warns Obama Not To Undercut Strong State Data and Privacy Laws

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John M. Simpson

SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog today welcomed President Obama’s attention on consumer privacy and data breach issues, but cautioned that legislation he proposes must not provide weaker protection than is already offered by some state laws.

“It’s good that the president has re-focused on privacy and data security issues, but it would be terrible his proposals preempt stronger state laws and offer less protection.” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “Any national consumer privacy laws should be a floor, not a ceiling. States must be allowed to enact stronger measures.”

In speech at the Federal Trade Commission Obama said he would propose the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act that would set a 30-day data breach notification standard as well as the Student Data Privacy Act law that would prohibit tech companies from selling data collected from students or using it to sell ads.  

Obama also said the Commerce Department will offer legislation within 45 days that would implement the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, first unveiled by the White House two years ago.

Details of the president’s initiatives were not immediately available.

“We’re concerned that in an effort to achieve bipartisan action there is a real possibility of passing loophole-laden legislation that actually makes things worse,” said Simpson.

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