New York privacy bills is a step up from CCPA

The state of New York is looking at introducing privacy legislation that aims to offer more protection than California’s Consumer Privacy law. 

The New York Privacy Act would grant state citizens more control over their personal data and would oblige companies to prioritise customer privacy ahead of profiteering.

The bill, which was introduced last month by state senator, Kevin Thomas, is to be heard by the Committee on Consumer Protection next week.

Like California before it, New York is set to become embroiled in a battle for fresh privacy laws, as industry groups go up against consumer supporters to word the new legislation to each other’s advantage.

In California, many public sector entities say the CCPA is too broad in its terminology, and that compliance with varying laws throughout each state is not feasible.

Similar to the CCPA, the New York Privacy Act would allow citizens to ask companies to divulge the data that they hold on individuals. If requested, companies would have to say with whom the data is being shared, and would have to correct or erase data. Data sharing or selling to third parties would come to an end.

In contrast to the CCPA, the Empire State’s new privacy laws would allow state citizens to sue companies directly over privacy violations, which could herald a wave of new lawsuits.

Lobby groups on the west coast were able to defeat a similar aspect of the CCPA before it was signed into law in 2018. Furthermore, the New York Privacy Act applies to companies of all sizes, whereas the CCPA must be adhered to only by firms that generate upwards of $25 million in gross annual revenue.

The New York Bill has been praised by privacy supporters, such as Mary Stone Ross, who said:

“This on its own could spark change or at least fear. I’m sure the lobbyists of the big companies are freaking out right now.”

John Olsen, director for the Internet Association which represents tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, said:

“The NY Privacy Act, in its current form, is unworkable for businesses that want to comply and fails to provide New York residents meaningful control over how their data is collected, used, and protected.”

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