State Senate hearing to explore further protection of consumers' personal data

Michael Gormley

Originally published in Newsday

ALBANY — A State Senate hearing scheduled for Nov. 22 in Manhattan will explore ways to better protect consumers against the sale and dissemination of personal data by internet giants including Google, Amazon and Facebook, said Sen. Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown).

Thomas, who heads the committee on Consumer Protection, internet and Technology, will chair the hearing, which will take place in the 19th floor Senate Hearing Room at 250 Broadway.

Experts in the field, internet company representatives and consumer advocates are among those scheduled to testify.

Thomas said legislation he will sponsor in the 2020 legislative session will seek to require companies to better inform consumers about what personal information is being collected, how it’s being used and to whom it is being sold.

Thomas said companies can do this while still making a profit from the data.

“It all has to balance,” Thomas said in an interview. “We need regulations and we need oversight. … We need to close these loopholes, update the law and to more properly protect consumers.”