In New Dehli, a hot topic of trending discussion in the news relates directly to consumer protection of data and privacy as it relates to commercial use. Members of the Indian parliament want to update the standards of practice and theory of law as it relates to these matters, according to reports distributed to news outlets globally, including the Times of India and Gadgets Now.
Highlights of the distributed media release include a need to protect private consumer data being flagged by the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) Conference on Trade and Development, Mukhisa Kituyi and issues raised by earlier consumer rights activists. Those activists, including members of NCDRC, had raised the issue of protecting consumer privacy and establishing those rights clearly in India.
As was reported, companies sharing consumers’ information for commercial purposes would be committing a crime when/if new proposals enter into law. These strategies by companies would be treated as unfair trade practice and result in violation of the consumer protection law. It is called the Consumer Protection Bill. It has been alleged that ecommerce businesses sell personal information for profit or personal gain, reportedly. Companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and other newer ecommerce businesses have faced penalties for violating privacy laws, anti-monopoly laws and other infractions involving data.
Kituyi referenced a global report at the UN and said that between the years 2012 and 2015, more people logged onto the Internet for the first time ever in India than any other country. He also said data has replaced oil as the world’s leading commodity trade.
“This poses a phenomenal challenge. This creates new responsibilities that we must deal with collectively,” Kituyi said.
Consumer Advocate Testifies in United States Congress Over Equifax Data Breach
The United States Public Interest Research Group recently announced the news that a consumer advocate testified before the United States Congress at a hearing on the Equifax data breach. Equifax is a consumer credit reporting agency that collects, stores, archives and regularly handles/accesses personal information on nearly every American citizen. They were recently hit with a critical data breach in which millions of Americans’ data and privacy became compromised and it has been alleged the company knew there was a vulnerability prior to the incident.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, invited Mike Litt to testify at a continuation of the committee’s previously held hearing called “Examining the Equifax Data Breach.”
“It’s beyond time for all consumers to have the right by law to control access to their credit reports with free credit freezes. In my written testimony, I explained how Equifax is true — trusted ID Premier product fails to fully protect consumers. I also highlight concerns with its forthcoming Lifetime Lock. Locks and freezes appear to function similarly and that they block access to your credit report.The bottom line is freezes are better because they are right by law and not conditional on terms set by the credit bureaus. Also, creditors run credit checks with any one or a combination of credit bureaus so it’s important that you block access to your credit reports at all three bureaus.”