From today’s The Hill:
With a lame duck session ahead in Congress, Democratic leaders in the House are facing demands to move forward pending bills. Many industry groups are hoping that Congress will take up the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, a privacy bill that would lock in place a single national standard and shut down efforts now underway in the states to expand consumer protection. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been targeted by one of the bill’s supporters, a former top official at the Commerce Department, who claims that her “pride” is the reason the bill has not moved.
A better explanation could be that Speaker Pelosi believes in the legislative process and that a better privacy bill is still possible.
The most well-known problem with the federal privacy bill is that it will overwrite stronger state privacy laws, most notably the California Privacy Rights Act. This is unusual in federal privacy law and clearly controversial. Backers of the bill claim that it is stronger than the California law, oblivious to the well-stated objections of Speaker Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom, the California attorney general, the California speaker of the house, the California Privacy Protection Agency, and also Californians for Consumer Privacy, the group that gathered 9 million votes in support of the state law, by far the most successful privacy campaign in U.S. history.
This is the moment when those in California get to ask the D.C. pundits what have *they* been smoking?
There is a simple solution to the objection from California: Remove the language that preempts stronger state laws. If the federal bill is indeed stronger, as the backers contend, then compliance with the California law should be easy.
Read the complete story here.