House Gives Preliminary Approval to Suite of Consumer Protection Legislation

15 February 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Katherine Levasseur
Office of the Speaker of the House
(802) 828-2245

    House Gives Preliminary Approval to Suite of Consumer Protection Legislation

      Legislation protects Vermonters’ personal data and voter information


The House today preliminary approved H.764, the Data Broker and Consumer Protection Bill and H.624, the Statewide Voter Checklist Protection Bill.


“It is a top priority for the House to ensure the security of Vermonters’ personal information and to protect them from identity theft,” said House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, speaking on both bills. “Both pieces of legislation take important steps forward for Vermonters and reflect the thoughtful collaboration of Vermonters and their legislators. Vermonters have the right to know who has access to their personal information. Vermonters shouldn’t have to pay fees to protect their personal information and they shouldn’t be forced to choose between their right to vote and protecting their privacy.”


On H.764, Attorney General T.J. Donovan said “this is about protecting our privacy. Protecting Vermonters’ information online is an essential part of consumer protection in the 21st century. Thanks to the leadership of Speaker Johnson and Chairman Botzow, Vermont is ahead of the curve on this issue. Thank you to the legislature for their work in protecting Vermonters.”


“H.764 addresses the need to know who data brokers are, how they practice collecting and selling consumer information, and their responsibilities and obligations to Vermonters,” added Representative Bill Botzow (D-Pownal), Chair of the Commerce & Economic Development Committee. “When a company experiences a breach, we want to hold them accountable to notifying individuals in a timely manner, and we want the burden of fees to freeze and check credit to be removed. Consumers’ private information must be respected and protected, and consumers need a window to understanding and managing their information held by data brokers. So do policymakers and so do regulators to protect the public.”


The lead sponsor of the H.624, Voter Protection Bill, Representative Dylan Giambatista (D-Essex Junction) said, "when President Trump convened his voter commission, I heard my neighbors loud and clear. We need to take action to ensure personal and private voter information is protected. Passage of this bill is an important first step to answer Vermonters' calls for privacy."


“Vermonters should not have to choose between protecting their privacy and their constitutional right to vote” added Representative John Gannon (D-Wilmington), speaking for the Committee on Government Operations. “We must do everything we can to protect Vermonters privacy and restore confidence in our democracy.”


“This bill is about protecting Vermont voters’ private information” added Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos. “As Vermont’s Chief Elections Officer, I take that responsibility seriously. I refused to comply with the Commission’s initial request because Vermonters expect their personal data to be secure and private. H.624 puts us on a stronger footing to deny federal intrusion into state election data now and into the future.”



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