As the digital economy expands, more attention is being paid to the impact of data processing on consumers and how to maintain responsible and trustworthy treatment of personal information. Companies have responded to shifting consumer views and expectations about how data is collected and used online by developing new data transparency tools and controls. Policymakers are also seeking ways to ensure that data controllers exercise fair information practices to protect and empower users while also encouraging innovation and protecting economically vital flows of data, particularly across borders.

CCIA’s View

New technologies and data practices have stressed the traditional U.S. sectoral approach to protecting consumer privacy. In response, Congress should adopt a federal baseline consumer privacy law to ensure that consumers’ personal information is handled responsibly no matter where it is collected or who is processing it. This framework should set consistent transparency requirements, consumer controls, and accountability measures for data controllers, while empowering the Federal Trade Commission to carry out robust enforcement. Such a framework should be risk-focused, technology-neutral, and provide safe harbors and flexibility for organizations to make adjustments according to the needs of individuals and evolving technology.

Developing comprehensive and durable privacy rules requires balance. The desire to bring the power of government to bear on the issue is a strong one, but it must be set against the need to encourage innovation, unlock the incredible social value of big data, and not to infringe upon related values such as the freedom of speech. Overly prescriptive or onerous regulation risks creating high barriers to entry for new companies and may even prohibit the creation of beneficial new technologies and privacy protective techniques and services.

CCIA Supports House Amendment to Protect Americans’ Browsing Data from Warrantless Collection

Washington — The House is expected to vote this week on a bipartisan amendment to H.R. 6172, the “USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020.” The amendment, brought by Representatives Lofgren (D-CA) and Davidson (R-OH), would protect Americans’ private internet browsing and search data from warrantless collection under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. A…

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Senate Advances USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act with New Surveillance Reforms

Washington — The Senate has voted to reauthorize expired authorities allowing federal government surveillance of Americans with additional reforms to legislation that the House previously passed. The Computer & Communications Industry Association has fought the unreasonable expansion of government surveillance for more than a decade. The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:…

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CCIA, 4 Associations Send Letter Warning Of Encryption, Safety Risks Of New Bill

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association sent a letter signed by 4 other associations warning Congress of the collateral dangers of altering the law that gives internet companies legal certainty to remove nefarious content. Under current law companies are granted liability protections which enable them to remove offensive content. Now several Senators are…

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CCIA Welcomes Advocate General Opinion on Validity of EU Data Flow Instrument

Brussels, BELGIUM — Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe has issued a non-binding opinion in response to a case involving data transfers that are used to process information like credit card transactions or insurance claims. The case examined whether so-called Standard Contractual Clauses provide sufficient protection to EU citizens’ data when transferred outside the European Union. Standard…

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CCIA Signs Joint OTI Letter Supporting Encryption

Washington — A day before a Senate Judiciary hearing on encryption, the Computer & Communications Industry Association joined 100 other organizations from around the world in a New America Open Technologies Institute letter  to officials in Australia, the U.S. and U.K expressing concern about their misconceptions about encryption.  CCIA, which represents device makers, internet services…

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CCIA Asks Senate Judiciary To Extend And Strengthen USA FREEDOM Act Protections

Washington — The Senate Judiciary Committee holds its first hearing Wednesday on reauthorizing the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015. The Computer & Communications Industry Association is calling on senators to maintain due process and civil liberties protections for US citizens under current surveillance authority and to use this periodic reauthorization to re-evaluate whether the law…

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