On Monday, March 15, 2021, the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee heard testimony on a group of different bills that all seek to impose various restrictions on businesses’ collection and use of customer data. Various interested parties testified both in favor and opposition to this legislation. NJCJI’s President, Anthony Anastasio, offered testimony in opposition to two of the bills, A3283 and A3255, which effectively create a private right of action for all violations via their explicit designation as unlawful practices under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“NJCFA”). 

NJCJI argued that these bills deal with complex and technical topics, and contain highly detailed requirements. Thus, a private right of action with the enhanced remedies of the NJCFA would encourage aggressive and abusive lawsuits that would stifle innovation and job growth in New Jersey. Accordingly, NJCJI argued that exclusive enforcement authority should vest in New Jersey’s Attorney General and businesses operating in good faith should receive notice and a right to cure violations.  Notably, one of the bills, A5448, contains these requirements, which NJCJI believes is sound public policy.

The Committee Chair indicated a willingness to continue to confer with all interested parties on these bills. Given the stated preference for a private right of action by various influential supporters of these bills, NJCJI remains concerned about the potential for unintended consequences here. NJCJI will therefore continue to monitor the bills as they progress through the Committee.  If you have any questions or concerns, then please reach out to Anthony at aanastasio@civiljusticenj.org.

NJCJI’s written testimony can be found here:

Anthony’s oral testimony can be found here at the 43:40 mark.