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NJBIA is urging the Legislature to vote no on a complex bill today that will hamper how small and large New Jersey business market to current and future customers. 

Bill S-332/A-1971 requires online services to notify consumers of the collection of personally identifiable information.  

The Senate version of the bill passed last April with the support of NJBIA and the business community.  

However, the bill has seen significant amendments since then, including three major revisions in a span of five days just before the holiday break, which will make New Jersey an outlier in how it treats data privacy, IT and innovation, while widely opening businesses up for more litigation. 

“The business community does not oppose comprehensive data privacy legislation,” said NJBIA Deputy Chief of Government Affairs Ray Cantor. “But the latest changes made by sponsors of the bill removes previously agreed-upon language and contains requirements that are inconsistent with other states, creating conflicting obligations. It also adds new sectors of New Jersey’s economy without their having an opportunity to weigh in. 

“This is a bill that has been worked on for several years. We urge our lawmakers to vote no in lame duck and for sponsors to work with the business community in good faith in the next session to return to finalize a bill that is fair for all stakeholders.” 

The latest version of the bill, which is slated for a vote in the full Assembly today, contains provisions that do not appear in any other comprehensive state privacy law. 

It removes language previously negotiated over years, reintroducing the threat of litigation for private rights of action. 

“The language that was suddenly changed a few weeks ago removes the phrase ‘or under any other law,’ which will embolden the filing of class action lawsuits for violations of this very technical and operationally intensive legislation,” Cantor said. 

Another major concern for the business opposition is the inclusion of broad rule-making authority of the state Attorney General on the Universal Opt-Out Mechanism. 

California and Colorado are the only two states with rulemaking in their privacy laws. 

“Both sets of regulations in those states are actually longer than the statute itself,” Cantor said. “Without a federal privacy act, being one of just three states that have complementing rule making would work directly against the interoperability between states. 

“It’s important that New Jersey moves toward interoperability, ensuring that businesses are able to apply the same rules across all states and consumers also have the same expectations for their privacy across states.”  

“After years of working toward a comprehensive data privacy policy, we should avoid cramming these unfair changes that create confusion conflict and litigation for New Jersey businesses. A no vote gives us a chance to work back toward a more balanced bill immediately in the next session,” Cantor adde