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.

Most Recent Statements:

Senate Judiciary Advances Measure To Give Government Greater Control Over Online Content, Opens Risks For Online Security Through Patchwork Of State Laws

Washington — The Senate Judiciary Committee took a step toward approving legislation, S. 3398, the “Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies” (EARNIT) Act, which would weaken the law companies rely upon to address objectionable activity online, commonly referred to as Section 230. In March, when the bill was introduced, the Computer & Communications…

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CCIA Welcomes EU Report On GDPR Enforcement Deficiencies

Brussels, BELGIUM — Today the European Commission released its first full assessment of Europe’s data protection rules. After two years of application, the European Commission highlighted several deficiencies related to the enforcement of Europe’s data protection rules.  As CCIA has pointed out previously, the European Commission also takes issue with the lack of appropriate funding…

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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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