HR 2622: Letter of Opposition to the House of Representatives and Senate

Advocacy Letters

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse                                                                   
3100 - 5th Ave., Suite B                                                                                  
San Diego, CA 92103                                                                                      
(619) 298-3396, bethg(at)    


Identity Theft Resource Center
P.O. Box 26833
San Diego, CA 92196
(858) 693-7935, itrc(at)

August 27, 2003  

By Fax: 7 pages
To the Honorable _______________
U.S. House of Representatives/Senate


Re: Please oppose H.R. 2622 as written, and/or equivalent bills that would eliminate state authority to protect privacy and prevent identity theft


The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and the Identity Theft Resource Center urge you to oppose H.R. 2622 as written because it preempts many state consumer protection laws while failing to prevent credit bureau mistakes or stop identity theft.

Our organizations have served consumers nationally for many years. Identity theft and financial privacy have been the leading concerns of those who have contacted us for assistance.


As you know, California leads the nation in state consumer protection legislation. In identity theft alone, the California Legislature has passed nearly 20 laws. In fact, many of these state laws have been adapted and introduced in other states and by members of Congress.


Why am I bringing California's record of consumer protection to your attention? Because H.R. 2622 as written would undo the effective work of the California Legislature regarding identity theft, credit reporting, and financial privacy. Among laws at risk would be California's landmark SB1, the Financial Information Privacy Act (Speier). Not only does H.R. 2622 threaten existing laws, it would prevent the state Legislature from enacting such consumer protection laws in the future. While there are useful provisions in H.R. 2622, the overall harmful impacts of the preemption provisions would exceed the bill's benefits.

Attached are 2 reports about the potential impact of H.R. 2622 on California laws - a Consumers Union analysis and a report from Congressional Research Service's American Law Division.

Not only does this bill preempt important California laws, it does little to stop identity theft before it occurs. Nor does it guarantee the accuracy of credit reports. Credit is more important than ever in our society. Consumers need to know that both the federal and state governments are working hard to protect their access to credit. I strongly urge you to oppose H.R. 2622 and its harmful preemption provision.



Beth Givens, Director                                                                                                
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

Linda Foley, Jay Foley, Directors
Identity Theft Resource Center


Attachment A Consumers Union list of California state laws that would be preempted by HR 2622

Attachment B Letter to Rep. Barbara Lee from the Congressional Research Service's American Law Division
on the effect of HR 2622 on current California law

Attachment C HR 2622 section by section analysis by national consumer groups