The Internet is a treasure trove of information and free services widely used by many. For consumers, it’s a quick way to find information and referrals about any number of issues or products, mostly for free. For businesses, it’s a means of reaching a broad cross section of consumers. Virtually all of the free Internet content and services are funded by ads. Some Internet companies and online marketers collect data about users’ online behavior in order to provide users with information about other goods and services that may be of interest to them. Although some consumers are troubled by this data collection, others feel it is a worthwhile trade-off.
- Support the establishment of a uniform national standard for data security laws while assuring that such a law addresses the hackers and identity thieves who commit such crimes — not just the data brokers and financial institutions caught up in security breaches.
- Protecting Victims of Identity Theft. Backed urgency bill to authorize restitution for expenses for three years to monitor an identity theft victim’s credit report and for the costs to repair the victim’s credit (SB 208 of 2011).
- Combating Costly Identity Theft. Supported enactment of a law making it easier to prosecute identity theft offenses by expanding the jurisdiction to include any place where an offense occurred (SB 226 of 2009).
- Neutralizing Overly Expansive Privacy Proposals. Secured amendments in 2009 to proposals (ultimately vetoed) potentially exposing businesses to further data breaches by expanding the content of required breach notifications (SB 20) and requiring social networking sites to prohibit and prevent photos posted to a site from being copied (AB 632).
The California Chamber of Commerce supports uniform national standards for regulating Internet commerce. Internet commerce is an inherently interstate activity that does not lend itself to state-by-state regulation. The CalChamber believes industry self-regulation should be the first step before considering government intervention. Businesses complying with industry regulations should be provided a safe harbor to encourage them to comply with industry standards.
Not only do uniform national standards enhance business practices across state lines, but patchwork regulations are unwieldy and pose compliance problems. Moreover, current law is protective of sensitive personal information.
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