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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

Privacy More Complex Than It Appears
Several major companies world have teamed up to promote consideration of federal consumer privacy legislation that would preempt state laws. Google, Oracle, Microsoft, and Proctor & Gamble are among the companies that have established the Consumer Privacy Legislative Forum (CPL Forum) to support discussion of "comprehensive harmonized federal privacy legislation to create a simplified, uniform but flexible legal framework."

The CPL Forum explained that because a national privacy standard would preempt State privacy laws, "a robust framework is warranted." A senior legal official with Google noted that the "uneven patchwork" of state consumer privacy laws can be counterproductive, "when you have so many laws all with the same aim but with different definitions, companies aren't able to create protection in a uniform way."

A senior official with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) said that "state governments have been more responsive than Congress in safeguarding consumer privacy." EPIC also said that they "welcome the participation of industry in the discussion, but it can't simply be an exercise in public relations."

The Forum states that its goal is to "foster a more informed legislative debate, leading to privacy provisions that benefit both industry and consumers."

  • Click to read Consumer Privacy Legislative Forum Statement