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Consumer Reports Model State Privacy Act

Though consumers have a fundamental right to privacy, there is no comprehensive federal privacy law granting them baseline privacy and security protections. Instead of leaving it to consumers to “opt-in” or “opt-out,” this bill protects consumer privacy by prohibiting companies from engaging in privacy-invasive behaviors. 

Why States Need A Privacy Law 

  • Consumers are constantly tracked. Sensitive information is often widely traded as a matter of course. Apps, including dating and period-tracking apps, send sensitive personal information on consumers (such as location data) to dozens, if not hundreds, of companies for advertising and profiling.


  • Existing protections are inadequate. There is no comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States. A handful of sectoral laws cover some categories of data, but companies like data brokers, social media platforms, and most websites and apps are not covered by any law to keep your data private and secure.


  • Your data can be used in important decisions about you. Without protections over the sharing of data, our personal information can be sold without our permission or awareness, or otherwise disseminated in ways that could mean getting charged more for insurance, or even facing job discrimination. 

Rights Provided 

In addition to deletion, access, portability, and correction rights and a data security requirement, the Model Act provides: 

  • Data minimization and a broad prohibition on secondary data sharing. Consumers should be able to use an online service or app safely without having to take any action. This model bill ensures privacy by default by limiting data collection and sharing to what is reasonably necessary to operate the service requested by the consumer. Consumers aren’t forced to navigate countless confusing opt-outs, and can’t be bombarded with abusive consent dialogs.


  • Non-discrimination. This model bill cuts off exploitative programs that could separate consumers into privacy haves and have-nots, and clarifies that legitimate loyalty programs, that reward consumers for repeated patronage, are supported by this bill.


  • Strong enforcement. Strong enforcement is essential to make sure that companies comply. This model bill provides a private right of action, enables city and county attorneys to enforce the Act, and ensures that there is no “right to cure” in administrative enforcement. 

For more information, please contact Justin Brookman at justin.brookman@consumer.org or Maureen Mahoney at maureen.mahoney@consumer.org.