As Information Becomes More Important In Digital Age, States Look To Pass Laws Protecting Consumer Privacy
In this rapidly growing digital age, who has your data is a very tricky query to answer.
With how the world currently operates right now, the use of technology has been more important than ever in performing the simplest of tasks down to those that require the smartest of technologies available.
Nevertheless, the unifying theme amongst all of them is the vital role information plays in the achievement of their intended purpose.
Yet, with how entities and individuals work together nowadays, it is not foreign to see everyday people and their private information getting compromised, misused, sold, etc., without their prior express permission.
Personal information is as valuable as gold in today’s wide-reaching digital universe.
Because of this, many companies and entities, and groups, both legal and illegal, make moves in order to make a quick buck out of people’s private information.
In fact, according to public data, the United States economy will see losses of up to $10.5 trillion yearly by 2025 due to cybersecurity attacks aiming at compromising private information held by companies.
Even the biggest of companies are helpless because of these attacks – from Adobe that makes your productivity software applications to credit reporting company Equifax, which brings you your latest credit score report.
This leaves the everyday consumer the most vulnerable in this given situation.
States Look To Assure Consumers Of Their Data Privacy
This seemingly helpless situation is where the government steps in.
Because of its sheer size and authority, only they can be the ones who will provide protection to everyday consumers when faced with adversities such as compromised personal data.
In the absence of federal law, several states across the country have passed laws and statutes aimed at providing safeguards to protect consumers and their private information.
California leads the pack with its passing of the California Consumer Privacy Act.
Virginia’s legislature is also set to vote in a matter similar to California’s, posing it to be the second state in the country to pass a law tackling consumer privacy protections.
A handful of states are also deliberating on passing consumer privacy laws in their respective legislatures. They are Washington, Florida, Utah, Minnesota, and New York.
This may seem like a very much welcome development in terms of consumer protection and privacy; analysts and experts agree that the lack of a federal-wide law passed by Congress would make these laws hard to follow depending on the specific area a person lives in or where an entity is registered at.
Groups such as experts over at Consumer Reports have released their take on the subject by releasing a guide bill that implores both houses of Congress to act on a single, unifying, nationwide consumer privacy protection law.
Suggestions that echo the ideas amongst privacy experts contained in the Consumer Reports proposed bill include measures such as nondiscrimination of customers when they assert their privacy rights, limiting the amount of data being collected from each individual, and a blanket ban on secondary uses of obtained information other than its original intended purpose.
But in the absence of a federal law concerning consumer privacy protections, it is in your best interest to know whether the state you currently reside in has a law concerning the matter.
It is also worth noting that cities and counties can also pass their own versions of local ordinances that aim to protect consumer information.
Reach out to your local authorities to know more about the specifics of consumer privacy measures guaranteed by the local government entities in your locality.
Be Vigilant! Protect Yourself Now
With the lack of stronger laws, the burden of keeping a tab of one’s personal information security lies squarely to the individual completely.
However, taking care of one’s personal information is not something that should sound Greek.
Even the non-tech savvy can take measures to protect themselves and their private information.
We here at Consider The Consumer have cited steps recommended by the Federal Trade Commission or FTC in how to take care of your personal information. Check them out below:
- Be wary and cautious of impersonators online posing as people you may know from your personal relationships and inner circle.
- Keep your personal information and data encrypted and secured.
- Dispose of your personal information safely and in accordance with the local legislation in your city and/or state.
- Do not share your personal information with strangers online. These pieces of information include Social Security numbers, addresses, emails, etc.
- Install and constantly update your device’s security software.
- Read through Privacy Policies diligently before agreeing to its terms.
Editor’s Note on Green Signal For State Privacy Laws To Protect Consumers Data:
This feature is published to inform you of the latest developments in the field of public legislation and policy concerning consumer privacy and rights in the United States.
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