States, Sick of Waiting for Congress, Take on Privacy

Companies worry about patchwork regulations
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2013 11:40 AM CDT
States, Sick of Waiting for Congress, Take on Privacy

It's been more than a year since the White House proposed a sweeping new set of consumer privacy regulations, and in that time Congress has done exactly nothing with it. So frustrated state legislatures are taking up the issue instead, the New York Times reports today, highlighting the efforts of more than 10 different states to in some way protect individual privacy. "Congress is obviously not interested," Texas Rep. Jonathan Strickland reasons. "If they're not going to do it, states have to."

Strickland championed a recent bill requiring warrants for email searches, while Oklahoma passed student privacy protections. California enacted laws that ban "revenge porn," give kids the right to delete social media posts, and force companies to reveal if they honor "do not track" requests. But tech lobbyists strongly oppose many such efforts, and worry that patchwork regulations will burden Internet companies. None of the laws go as far as the White House's proposals, and not all have passed; Jerry Brown, for instance, vetoed a bill requiring police to get a warrant before using cellphone records to pinpoint a subject's location. (More privacy stories.)

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