Pennsylvania’s Proposed Consumer Privacy Act: What You Need

PrivacyImage by Christoph Meinersmann

PENNSYLVANIA — Reps. Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny), Napoleon Nelson (D-Montgomery) and Craig Williams (R- Chester/Delaware) announced they will be the speakers at “Pennsylvania: The Next State Consumer Privacy Law?” to discuss the proposed Pennsylvania Consumer Data Privacy Act (House Bill 2202), a bill Mercuri is championing, and whether Pennsylvania will become the sixth state to adopt a consumer privacy bill.

That event, which will be hosted by the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia chapters of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), will take place on Thursday, Sept. 29, from noon to 1 p.m. at One PNC Plaza’s Fifth Avenue Conference Room, located on the 30th floor at 249 Fifth Ave. in Pittsburgh. The public is being invited to attend the livestream on Teams. For more information on the event and how to register, click here.

“It’s important to do everything we can to protect consumer data because the laws that surround it are designed for a pre-digital era,” said Mercuri. “In terms of the digital economy, our data privacy environment is like the ‘Wild West.’  Our personal data about what we buy, where we surf on the internet, what we click, where we drive and our habits as humans is the new oil in the economy because it is valuable and extractable.”

Mercuri’s legislation would require larger companies and personal information aggregators to share more information about what data on individuals is gathered, tracked and sold. Additionally, the bill would allow constituents to opt out without discriminatory consequences while also preserving the ability for companies to negotiate with consumers over the value of their information.

“Our world is becoming increasingly more digital, and our vital records and privacy are the most at risk,” said Nelson. “That is why I am honored to work with colleagues from across the aisle and across the state on HB 2202 to better address emerging technologies in the digital economy. Whether it is the constant barrage of spam and unwanted solicitations to the digital shopping apps that provide purchasing recommendations that seem to be listening in on our personal conversations, Pennsylvania residents should not have to worry about how they are going to safeguard the personal information of themselves and loved ones.”

“Consumers own their data, not those who gather it,” Williams said. “I am working with Rep. Mercuri to find the balance between appropriate commercial uses of consumer data and safeguarding consumer privacy. I also believe consumers have a financial stake in the use of their data and should have compensation for its uses.”

Attendees include cybersecurity and privacy professionals who represent a variety of for-profit and non-profit industries.

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