Security groups cautious about data security and file sharing bills

Gautham Nagesh of Nextgov reports on testimony to Congress concerning two bills in the current session: H.R.2221 (Data Accountability and Trust Act) and H.R. 1319 (Informed P2P User Act). Some of the concerns raised about H.R. 2221:

According to David Sohn, senior policy counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology, most states have already passed laws that require companies to notify consumers if their personal information is exposed, and the federal bill, which would preempt those state laws, could weaken some of those state laws.

Forty-four states have passed notification laws, and the new bill could prevent states from enacting stricter measures, said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center.

With respect to H.R. 1319:

Some panel members said the bill did not define peer-to-peer software succinctly and without a more exact definition, the bill could stifle innovation by allowing others to apply the restrictions to more products than originally intended.

Some people have suggested that the definitional issue is serious enough that without refining it, the law might apply to browsers.

Both of these bills can be tracked by using the Bills in Congress page on this web site and clicking on the linked bill numbers to get the bill’s status.

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