Consumer Protection

Marriott Data Breach: What You Need to Know

Last week, Marriott International revealed that it suffered a breach of its Starwood reservation database. The breach exposed the personal information of up to 500 million people. The breach began back in 2014 and anyone who stayed at any of Marriott’s Starwood properties (i.e. W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, …

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Net neutrality, data privacy bills enacted into law

Vermont consumers scored major victories this week when two VPIRG-supported digital consumer protection bills were enacted into law. On Tuesday, Gov Phil Scott signed the net neutrality bill (S.289) and let the data broker bill (H.764) become law without his signature. Net Neutrality By enacting this law Vermont has taken a critical step toward countering …

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Vermont Close to Passing Landmark Data Privacy Legislation

All session long, VPIRG and our members have been advocating for H.764 – better known as the Data Broker Bill. Data brokers are third party companies (like Equifax) that buy and sell your personal information without your knowledge. You don’t interact with these companies and would probably be surprised to learn that they may have …

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Vermont Net Neutrality Bill Nears Finish Line

With just days left in the Vermont Legislative session, state legislators are working to finalize language on a proposal to promote net neutrality in Vermont. S.289 – the Net Neutrality Bill – is being negotiated in a committee of conference, before heading to both the House and Senate for a final up-or-down vote. If passed …

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Affordable for whom? The High Cost of Gov. Scott’s “Say No” Agenda

Last month, Governor Phil Scott sent a letter to legislative leaders outlining his opposition to several bills on the basis that these bills would impose new taxes or fees or somehow impose new costs on Vermonters. In his letter, the governor did not elaborate on what any of these bills would actually do. And based …

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Bill to regulate data brokers passes the House!

Last week, the House advanced H.764, a first-in-the-nation bill to regulate data brokers in Vermont. This is an important step to give Vermonters better protections and more control when it comes to their sensitive information. Last summer’s Equifax data breach — where the personal information of over 140 million Americans was exposed, including hundreds of …

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Senate passes bill to ensure state contracts with Net Neutral internet providers

The Vermont Senate advanced an important measure Friday to promote a fair and open Internet in Vermont. On a 23 to 5 vote, the Senate gave final approval to S.289 – a bill that would ensure the state only contracts with Internet Service Providers that adhere to Net Neutrality principles. The move comes in response …

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After Equifax: VPIRG Calls for Data Privacy Protections

The following are comments submitted by VPIRG at the public hearing of the Vermont House Commerce and Economic Development Committee responding to the Equifax Data Breach and other data privacy related concerns: Good evening. I’m Zachary Tomanelli – the Communications and Technology Director for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, VPIRG, the state’s largest environmental …

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Gov. Scott Signs Retirement Security Bill

In front of a large crowd on Thursday at the Northern Stage theater in White River Junction, Governor Scott signed into law S.135, a bill that creates a state-administered retirement program. As part of a larger economic development bill that supports rural and downtown development, Section C of the legislation authorizes the Treasurer’s Office to implement …

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