Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — November 22, 2013

Additional privacy legislation could limit consumer choice

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Business Council of New York State, Inc. presented testimony today conveying the need for companies to have access to the full range of online and mobile marketing tools in order to best communicate with their customers at the New York State Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection hearing.

“The Business Council and our members take customer privacy very seriously and make every effort to ensure customers are well educated about the uses of their personal information,” said Marcus Ferguson, director of government affairs for The Business Council of New York State. “Limiting access to new technologies and restricting information transmission that is beneficial to consumers is not the answer.”

Consumers benefit when online or mobile interactions with companies can be tailored to their interests and preferences and consumers more and more frequently rely on online services for news, social interaction and social networking. In turn, businesses can better serve customers by offering them products and services that they will most likely be interest in.

Concerns over online privacy with regard to marketing practices of companies frequently ignore products that offer consumers transparent, real-time privacy solutions and allow them to choose their own level of privacy.

Additionally, The Attorney General of New York State and the FTC both already have the ability to regulate business practices by pursuing and enforcing action against unfair or deceptive business practices that violate strict federal children's privacy law, spamming, text and telemarketing laws, and other laws that protect New York consumers.

“The business community has been at the forefront of innovation in online marketing and communications, while proactively and voluntarily taking additional steps to protect our consumers' privacy,” continued Ferguson.

The Business Council encouraged the legislature to consider consumer choice, business needs in communicating with customers, protections already available, and current privacy laws when considering additional privacy legislation.