Retailers Laud House Passage of Cybersecurity Bills, Privacy Advocates Concerned
April 27, 2015
Two cybersecurity bills will move on to the U.S. Senate after having been overwhelmingly passed by the House of Representatives late last week. While industry groups, the White House and a bi-partisan coalition of legislators strongly support the bills, which will remove barriers to information sharing between private companies and the government, privacy advocates are extremely concerned. Of the two, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act is the more controversial, even though the bill’s authors contend there are strong protections for privacy and civil liberties built in. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has called the Protecting Cyber Networks Act a “surveillance bill in disguise.”
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) on the other hand, has applauded both measures, after the industry was battered in 2014 by a series of high-profile hacks that exposed the personal information of hundreds of millions of consumers.
“Retailers have taken extraordinary steps in the past year to combat cybercrime and protect our customers from the impact of data breaches and other cyber-attacks,” said Nicholas Ahrens, RILA’s vice president for Privacy and Cybersecurity. “Passage of House cyber information sharing legislation is a strong first step toward enacting meaningful government reforms that complement our own efforts to defend against the threat posed by cyber thieves and hackers.”