Fight Looms over National Privacy Law - ABI

The tech industry and consumer groups are gearing up for a fight as lawmakers begin considering whether to draft a national privacy law, The Hill reported. The push to get Congress to enact federal privacy standards is gaining new urgency after California passed what is being seen as the nation’s toughest privacy law this June. The measure forces businesses to be more transparent about what they do with consumer data and gives users unprecedented control over their personal information. The California law has sparked worries within the tech industry, which fears having to comply with a patchwork of varying state regulations. Industry groups are pushing Congress to pass a national privacy bill that would block states from implementing their own standards. Next week, executives from Google, Apple, AT&T and other major technology and telecommunications companies will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee as the panel’s chairman, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), prepares to introduce a new privacy law. Consumer groups are concerned that only industry voices will be heard at the hearing and that internet companies will have an outsized role in shaping the legislation. They are now demanding a seat at the table. The stakes are high for all sides in the privacy debate after a year that saw Facebook rocked by a massive data scandal. Overseas, Europe has already passed its own tough privacy law, which took effect this year.

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