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Consumer Reports urges Nebraska legislature to strengthen new privacy law

Lincoln, NE Consumer Reports calls on the Nebraska legislature to strengthen L.B. 1294, a consumer data privacy bill that was included in L.B. 1074, and signed into law by Governor Jim Pillent. 

The law includes some important consumer protections, such as the right to know the information companies have collected about them, the right to correct and delete that information, and the right to limit some data disclosures through universal opt-out mechanisms. However, the law only applies to businesses that sell personal information and are not a small business under the SBA definition, leaving a wide swath of personal information unprotected. The law also contains insufficient enforcement mechanisms and allows companies to discriminate against consumers who exercise their right to opt out by denying service or charging extra. 

“Nebraska lawmakers should use the next legislative session to make much needed improvements to strengthen this law,” said Matt Schwartz, policy analyst at Consumer Reports. “While we appreciate Nebraska for its work to pass a privacy bill, this legislation falls short. The law does include a universal opt-out, but it should apply to all businesses that collect significant amounts of personal data and should include enforcement mechanisms that will actually incentivize them to comply the first time around. Consumers deserve stronger protections than the ones this law provides.”

Nebraska is the fourth state to enact a comprehensive privacy law this year, following New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Kentucky. Maryland’s recently passed privacy bill is also pending the Governor’s signature.