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Social media users may soon be able to easily transfer their personal information to competing platforms. On October 22, 2019, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators (Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)) introduced the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching Act (ACCESS Act), a bill aimed at encouraging market-based competition among today’s major social media platforms by requiring the largest of these tech companies to allow users to move their data from one service to another.

The bill, should it become law, would be regulated and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and would require large communications platforms (products or services with over 100 million monthly active users in the U.S.) to:

  • Make users’ personal data portable, by allowing users to retrieve and/or transfer their personal data in a structure and machine-readable format.
  • Maintain interoperability with other platforms, including competing companies.
  • Give users the ability to designate a trusted third-party service to manage their privacy, content, online interactions, and account settings.


Continue Reading Bipartisan social media data portability bill introduced in U.S. Senate

On July 25, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (SHIELD) Act (S.5575B/A.5635), which significantly increases obligations for businesses handling private data to notify affected consumers upon experiencing a security breach. Additionally, Governor Cuomo signed the Identity Theft Prevention and Mitigating Services Act (A.2374/S.3582), requiring consumer credit reporting agencies to offer identity theft prevention and mitigation services to consumers who have been affected by a security breach of the agency’s system.

In an official press release announcing his signature on both pieces of legislation, the Governor emphasized the significance of implementing such laws to protect New Yorkers against security breaches. Citing a recent significant data breach, Cuomo noted that “[a]s technology seeps into practically every aspect of our daily lives, it is increasingly critical that we do everything we can to ensure the information that companies are trusted with is secure . . . [t]he stark reality is security breaches are becoming more frequent and with this legislation New York is taking steps to increase protections for consumers and holding these companies accountable when they mishandle sensitive data.”

Continue Reading New York enacts new security and identity theft protection laws in response to recent data breaches