• Lawmakers consider creating federal consumer data protection law

    By: Samantha Manning

    Updated:

    Some lawmakers are pushing for a federal law to protect the personal and financial information of consumers.

    The purpose is to shift the burden of protection from customers to the companies.

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    "I do think that there has to be protection for our identity just as a consumer in general,” shopper Marisa Pazik said. "I think as a customer we take that risk, but I do think that there should be a protection."

    A Senate committee heard testimony Wednesday about proposals calling for more transparency from companies about how data is collected and used. 

    "It's Congress' job to make sure that Americans are protected,” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) said.

    Representatives from companies like Walmart and Microsoft spoke in support of lawmakers creating the federal legislation.

    "Some of this data is deeply personal about our health, our jobs, what we believe, where we go, what we buy and so much more,” Julie Brill, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft, said.

    The testimony called for customers to be able to access the data collected and to correct or delete information.

    They also point to a need for strong enforcement from regulatory agencies like the Federal Trade Commission to make sure the companies are held accountable.

    "Consumer trust hangs in the balance,” Brill said.


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