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BSA Statement On Privacy, Data Security Bills

Senate Commerce Committee hearing advances the debate on all fronts

WASHINGTON — June 29, 2011 — The Business Software Alliance (BSA) today called on Congress to pass legislation that bolsters individual privacy and enhances data security practices while also encouraging business and technology innovation. BSA’s comments came as the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee held a hearing to examine how organizations collect, maintain, secure, and use personal information in today’s economy and whether consumers are adequately protected under current law.

Committee Member Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) recently introduced the Data Security and Breach Notification Act (S. 1207), and Committee Member John Kerry (D-Mass.) has partnered with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to introduce the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act (S.799).

“Privacy and security are the twin pillars undergirding public trust and confidence in online commerce — and there is important work to be done in both areas,” said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. “Senator Pryor and Chairman Rockefeller have made an important contribution to the debate by driving the emerging consensus that now is the time to enact data-security and breach legislation. Their bill gets all the big things right — requiring organizations that hold consumers’ personal data to protect it with reasonable security measures, creating market incentives to deploy strong security, and requiring consumers to be promptly notified when a breach puts them at risk of material harm. BSA looks forward to working with them as the legislative process moves forward.”

“Senators Kerry and McCain have done a tremendous amount to advance the privacy debate with their bill,” Holleyman continued. “It strikes an important balance by helping companies protect consumers’ personal information while still encouraging business and technology innovation. It ensures that regulation will not stall the growth of the Internet economy by giving companies the freedom to establish appropriate and robust self-regulatory programs. The bill also allows companies to concentrate on areas in which they have the greatest expertise. Finally, the legislation’s technology-neutral approach will allow for continued innovation while avoiding impediments and unintended consequences on technology development.”

“There are a number of important details still to be worked through in the Kerry-McCain bill,” Holleyman said. “But it is the most comprehensive privacy proposal to be developed and BSA strongly supports using it as the basis for continued discussion.”

About BSA

The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of nearly 100 world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.

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