NJCPA Speaks Out Against 'Spyware' Bill

 – October 29, 2020
NJCPA Speaks Out Against

The NJCPA strongly opposes a S1965, a bill that threatens the privacy and security of New Jerseyans and the state's and businesses' computer networks. 

On Oct. 29, the Society sent the following letter to Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez, the sponsor of the bill.


Dear Honorable Senator Cruz-Perez:

On behalf of the 14,000 members of the New Jersey Society of CPAs, we want to share our concerns with S1965, which we strongly oppose.

We believe that this bill is a very real danger to the privacy and security of New Jerseyans and the state’s and businesses computer networks. This is not a dramatic overstatement, it is a very real threat. That’s why the same bill, pending at one time or another in over 30 states, has not, except for New Jersey and Rhode Island, passed even one house in any of those states.

It is also why the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), which represents state chief information officers across the county, is opposed to the bill. Their position statement below says it all.

While there are many other reasons why the “spyware” bill is not good public policy and is unnecessary (see attached letter and articles below), the dangerous and unprecedented privacy and security issues it creates are reason enough to oppose the bill.

Here is the statement of the NASCIO on the legislation:

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), which represents state CIOs, opposes state legislation which would mandate contractor monitoring software because of the significant risks to citizen privacy and federal regulatory compliance concerns it could create. While NASCIO certainly supports contractor productivity, cost efficiency and successful project outcomes, legislation of this nature could introduce unnecessary risks to citizen data by essentially transferring ownership of private citizen data to a third party. This type of legislation also has the potential for unintended consequences, such as impacting a state’s cybersecurity insurance policy coverage. State CIOs inherently understand and appreciate the seriousness of protecting citizens’ data, and therefore do not support legislation that could serve to increase or introduce additional risk.

Articles:

Once more, we believe that S1965 threatens the privacy rights of individuals and the security of state and private industry data systems. We hope you will reconsider your support for this legislation. 

Thank you for your consideration of our views on S1965. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.