Consumer Privacy Law has been a hot topic as many states propose new legislation emphasizing data security. As states create more comprehensive plans that grant consumers greater access to information collected about them, it is imperative that the debt collection industry understands and complies with the new regulations.
California has been a trailblazer in consumer privacy law, which should be no surprise because the largest technology firms that deal in big data are located in Silicon Valley. In 2023, the California Privacy Rights Act will go into effect, expanding the previous California Consumer Privacy Act. The legislature will give consumers greater control over how businesses use their personal information. As seen below, many states have followed California’s lead, creating similar legislation.
The proposed bill in New York, titled the Consumer Data Privacy Bill of Rights states that consumers should have “the right to access, control, and erase the data collected from them; the right to nondiscrimination from providers for exercising these rights; and the right to equal access to services.” The verbiage remains similar across states proposing privacy laws.
The House and Senate both passed the Consumer Data Protection Act that gives consumers more control over their personal data. There is also an opt-in clause for sensitive data and the bill would go into effect starting in 2023.
The Washington Privacy Act is also concerning privacy, encouraging greater transparency between businesses and consumers. Originally proposed in 2019, this year lawmakers are looking to get it passed in the state House and Senate.
This year Florida has introduced a consumer privacy protection bill. Once failed, the state will bring House Bill 969 back to the floor in an effort to protect individual data. If enacted, the bill would go into effect in 2022.
Like all the states listed above, Oklahoma filed a bill to increase protection over consumer data. Earning bipartisan support, this bill would require businesses to gain explicit consent before collecting and selling consumer data.
What does this mean?
Consumer privacy is a widespread topic of interest. In the digital age, we are all too familiar with our data being collected from every website we click on, however where that data goes remains a mystery. These laws aim to allow consumers to increase control and security over their personal data. From the perspective of the debt collection industry, there are several implications.
Third party collection processes involve contacting a customer on behalf of another company. Understandably, consumers are confused when they get a call from a company that they haven’t heard of. Especially today, with the increased awareness of data breaches and personal information being sold, this can raise alarm bells.
With these confluence of factors, the new legislation may seem daunting to many collectors. The solution lies in consent. Much like texting and emailing, consent will be applied to data. While this complicates the process of collecting, it is just another piece of compliance regulation that MRS knows it can handle. Even as the complexities increase dramatically as each state draws up its own set of laws, MRS has always adopted a compliance first attitude.
Privacy laws are checks on big data companies to protect consumers. MRS works to find the best solutions to help consumers resolve debt. As a compliant, consumer oriented business, this legislation will not change how we fundamentally operate.