Why Data Breach Legislation Is a Big Deal for Direct Response

by Bill McClellan on May 5, 2015 11:28:00 AM Advocacy

Marsha Blackburn on Data Breach LegislationThings are gearing up for next week’s Government Affairs Fly-In! As I discussed in a previous post, we are very excited to welcome Utah State Attorney General Sean Reyes as a featured keynote speaker. But wait, there's more...

The news just gets better. In addition to hearing from a sitting State Attorney General for the first time ever, we have another treat in store for this year’s event.

One of the few marketers in Congress will also be joining us. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is a long-time industry champion and friend. She was appointed chairwoman of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission in 1995. More importantly, she is the Vice Chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Why the big deal for Direct Response Marketing?

There are two very important reasons Representative Blackburn is critical to the ERA community. First, her committee has jurisdiction over the Federal Trade Commission. We look forward to hearing about the Committee’s oversight plans in this intense regulatory environment.

Similarly, Representative Blackburn has taken a leadership role on one of the most critical issues facing direct response marketers in the 2015 legislative session – Data Breaches.

Why is Data Breach Legislation so important?

2014 was dubbed “The Year of the Breach,” as news accounts documented the inappropriate access of customer data from businesses around the country. On March 14, 2015, Representative Blackburn acted and introduced H.R. 1770, The Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 with Peter Welch (D-VT), which is a national standard for maintaining and securing personal consumer information.

ERA applauds this effort of leadership on this issue. We strongly believe that there is a need for a federal data breach notification standard that will take precedence over the patchwork of existing state laws.

We believe Data Breach legislation should include:

  1. Clear federal standards and enforcement that preempts the patchwork of state laws.
  2. Notification should only be triggered by an event that has a significant risk of harm.
  3. Need for businesses to notify consumers quickly should be balanced by law enforcement needs.
  4. A Federal notification standard should not allow for private right of action.
  5. The Federal Trade Commission should be granted additional civil penalty in this area.

ERA is working with Representative Blackburn to get it right.  

We need Congress to help us enact legislation that will help businesses effectively inform and ultimately protect customers, and we look forward to working with Representative Blackburn on this important issue. If you are able, please plan on joining the team at The Government Affairs Fly-In for this important endeavor. Working together we can responsibly address this issue in a manner that is both business friendly and protects the ecosystem. The delivery of proper notification to affected individuals where data is compromised is a critical issue for both businesses and consumers alike.

Learn more about how you can get involved in the future of direct response!

Learn More


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