Privacy Law Redux

Over the past decade, there has been growing concern and heightened awareness over a consumer’s personal information. Consumers want their private data to stay private. Consequently, the legislature has followed. 


Lawmakers are considering a bill regarding data broker regulation. The goal of the bill is to provide information to consumers about how their data is being used by data brokers. Furthermore, the bill proposes data broker registration and would force all data brokers to respond to a myriad of questions about how they use personal information that would then be published for the public. 


The Do Not Track Act has been proposed by Senator Cullerton. This law refers to individual tracking online, and although it is not a broad privacy bill, we could see more legislation regarding privacy in the future from this state. 


Lawmakers are still considering the Massachusetts Information Privacy Act which focuses on consumer data privacy. Though a hearing was held late last year, no further hearings have been scheduled. 


The Mississippi Consumer Data Privacy Act will likely be reintroduced by Representative Angela Turner-Ford.

New York

Like Massachusetts, New York lawmakers are still considering bills regarding consumer privacy. Last year, the New York Privacy Act made it out of the Senate, but no further. This year, it has been amended and reintroduced.


Like Delaware, Oregon is considering data broker legislation, requiring brokers to register and be regulated. 


Last year, Virginia passed the Consumer Data Protection Act with the goal of giving consumers more control over their personal data. A joint commission wrote an open letter suggesting numerous changes to the law that are reflected in the following amendments: right to cure and potential penalties, exemption for nonprofits, and deletion requests. The right to cure and potential penalties revises enforcement so that actual damages can be recovered for aggrieved consumers. Exemption for nonprofits would in effect expand the number of organizations that are exempt under the law. Lastly, deletion requests assists a consumer having their data deleted specifically from companies that have received the data indirectly. 


The Washington Privacy Act has been carried over from last year. Similar to Delaware and Oregon, Washington is considering an act which will regulate data brokers as well as form a privacy commission. 

Consumer Privacy is a top concern for lawmakers across all states. Nearly every state has or is in the process of implementing some form of privacy statute. What we in the collections industry can learn from this is that consumers want to feel secure. 

It is a fine line to walk, avoiding third party disclosure while demonstrating the legitimacy of a contact, but with the right controls in place and a compliance first mindset, the complexities can be mitigated. 

MRS handles sensitive information on a daily basis. Embedded into our business are controls that insulate, encrypt, and protect each consumer’s data that we receive. Helping a customer resolve their debt while providing them with the security that their information is safe is paramount. MRS is up to the task.