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Joint Association Letter to the U.S. Senate Regarding Amendments to S. 3414

Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 8:00pm

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Republican Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:

As the Senate prepares to debate the “Cybersecurity Act of 2012” (S. 3414), the undersigned associations write to express our strong opposition to the adoption of amendments that would add data security, breach notification, or commercial privacy provisions to S. 3414.

In your efforts to develop a bipartisan bill for Senate floor consideration, we urge the Senate to ensure that all provisions of the bill support the overall purpose of protecting our critical infrastructure and are not expanded to include unrelated or unvetted amendments, such as data security, breach notification, or commercial privacy legislation. We also recommend that this sensitive topic should proceed through the legislative process in regular order to ensure complete and deliberate consideration separate from the pending floor debate on cybersecurity legislation.

Data security and breach notification are vitally important issues for American businesses and consumers alike. The business community has worked with Members of Congress – in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle to find the right path toward passage of a national data security and breach notification law. However, work is still needed as disagreement persists regarding certain provisions of such a federal bill. This persistent disagreement is evident in the significantly differing data security bills introduced in the Senate during the 112th Congress, which are now being offered as amendments to S. 3414.

We have appreciated the opportunity to comment on these bills and look forward to working with their authors and cosponsors to continue down the path toward passage of a federal data security and breach notification law. However, it is our strong belief that data security deserves its own due consideration and debate separate from the complicated issue of cybersecurity.

Given the recent amendments submitted and proposed to S. 3414, the undersigned associations urge you to keep these burdensome proposals – on issues not yet ripe for passage – out of S. 3414 and not rush to make changes to the current landscape of state data security, data breach, and commercial privacy laws that would have a fundamental impact on a broad segment of the American business community.

Sincerely,

Alliance for Competitive Technology
American Advertising Federation
American Association of Advertising Agencies
American Business Media
Association of National Advertisers
Consumer Data Industry Association
Direct Marketing Association
Electronic Retailing Association
Interactive Advertising Bureau
Marketing Research Association
MPA – The Association of Magazine Media
National Business Coalition on E-Commerce and Privacy
National Retail Federation
NetChoice
Newspaper Association of America
Performance Marketing Association
Retail Industry Leaders Association
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Cc: The Members of the United States Senate