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Consumer Reports Supports the New York Privacy Act

ALBANY, NYConsumer Reports announced its support of newly-introduced privacy legislation, the New York Privacy Act (S. 6701), sponsored by Senator Kevin Thomas. The bill requires companies to obtain consumers’ permission before collecting, using, or disclosing their personal information; prohibits companies from charging consumers for exercising their rights, and has strong enforcement provisions, including a private right of action.

“We applaud Senator Thomas for introducing meaningful privacy legislation in New York,” said Maureen Mahoney, senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports. “Unlike other industry-supported bills that have been introduced this year, this bill protects consumers’ privacy by defaultso that they don’t have to hunt for opt-out links at hundreds if not thousands of different websites. It also has strong teeth so that companies can’t skirt the law. We urge the legislature to advance the measure.”

The bill recently advanced out of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, and will head to the Senate for consideration. The bill would need to clear the legislature before the session ends on June 10.

New York is one of over a dozen states that has pursued privacy legislation this year. While Virginia’s industry-supported Consumer Data Privacy Act has been signed into law, stronger legislation, including the CR-supported Washington Privacy Act, ultimately failed to advance. Legislators are currently considering privacy legislation in other states, such as Colorado and Connecticut.

Contact: Cyrus Rassool, cyrus.rassool@consumer.org