NEW YORK — A bill being considered in the New York state legislature would prohibit companies from charging a customer’s bank account, credit card, or debit card without consent from the customer, a change that would be the first in the country to address consumer privacy.
The proposal by state Sen. Joseph Bruno (D-Rochester) would prevent companies from imposing fees or surcharges on the accounts of customers who have not paid for their services.
It also would prohibit any company from asking customers for additional information, including payment information, that could reveal personal information about the customer or to whom he or she owes money.
The bill, sponsored by Bruno, would be in the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee on Thursday, the same day the state Assembly is scheduled to consider the measure.
It’s the first such bill to come from the state, but it’s not the first.
Bruno introduced the bill in January, and it drew bipartisan support from business leaders, consumer advocates, and privacy groups, according to the advocacy group New York Civil Liberties Union.
The new legislation is modeled after a similar proposal by Sen. Peter King (D) of Vermont, who has proposed a similar bill in the Assembly.
King has proposed the bill to ensure that consumers are protected from companies that charge them for things that should be free.
Under the new bill, the companies that collect consumer information would be subject to stricter rules than they are now, and the companies would have to notify customers if they are forced to pay a fee for the information.
Under the bill, companies would also have to give the customer a second chance to pay for their service and not make it more expensive, which could include paying the company’s fee.
Brunos spokesman Mark Azzopardi said in a statement that the proposal would allow consumers to be more confident that their personal information is safe and secure.
“When you make a transaction, you are agreeing to provide that information to the merchant that you are buying from, and we know that sometimes a customer is asked to provide sensitive information like Social Security numbers, birthdates, and more to banks and other companies,” Azzogni said.
“If you believe that your personal information has been inappropriately shared or is being misused, you can file a complaint with the state’s Consumer Privacy Protection Division.
The legislation also calls for the state to develop a national model of privacy rules for financial institutions and financial services companies.
The federal government has also proposed an approach similar to the one Bruno and King are proposing.”
This is an important step in ensuring that the consumer protections they are currently enjoying are not eroded by the continued use of the existing financial services industry model,” Aizzopardi wrote.
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