The Business Council of New York State, the state’s leading statewide business and industry association, strongly opposes this legislation that would adopt a state law governing the disclosure of personally identifiable information by an internet service provider without the express written approval of the consumer.
This proposed legislation, as well as others similar to it (S.5516 / A.7495-a and S.5576 / A.7236), seem to have been proposed in reaction to events at the federal level, specifically Congressional action to overturn Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules adopted in 2016 that – due to inconsistencies in the privacy framework enforced by another federal agency (the Federal Trade Commission) – had not even gone into effect.
It should be noted that this is not a state or regional issue. This is a universal internet provider governance issue that does not end and begin within state borders.
As such, the state-by-state approach proposed in this bill risks creating 50 different systems. The results of such legislation would create chaos in the ISP world and with consumers. Since networks are not defined by state lines, providers would be faced with a patchwork of regulations as well as federal rules. Consumers would be faced by uncertainty between networks, states, and federal rules.
The ISP community within The Business Council’s membership already maintains rules and policies consistent with existing laws protecting consumers as well as clearly stated policies in regards to marketing programs and consumer choices available to subscribers.
Instead of pursuing state legislation, we suggest that efforts of the federal regulators – specifically the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission – be followed in order to insure a universal national policy in regards to information and data protections currently being investigated.
For these reasons The Business Council opposes S.5603-B / A.7191-B.