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.

President Obama Includes Cybersecurity, Privacy in SOTU

Washington – President Obama touched on an array of proposals related to increasing cybersecurity and privacy protections for consumers in last night’s State of the Union address.  In the wake of last year’s Sony hack and other high profile breaches, concerns about the security of corporate networks, critical infrastructure, and consumers’ personal and financial information…

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CCIA Disappointed With USA FREEDOM Act Vote

The Senate fell two votes short Tuesday evening in its attempt to bring the USA FREEDOM Act to the floor for debate. The Computer & Communications Industry Association is disappointed to see yet another delay in passing badly needed reforms that are critical to restoring the trust between the government and citizens. The following can be attributed…

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Letters Ask Congress To Bring ECPA Reform To A Vote

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association joined other technology advocates today in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asking for a vote on the Senate’s bipartisan bill that would prevent the government from accessing consumers’ private digital information without a warrant. A separate letter to House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, asks for a House…

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Congressional Internet Caucus Panel Explores Challenges Of EU’s Right To Be Forgotten Ruling

Washington – Congressional staff heard the details at a panel discussion Friday of how Europe is now implementing its Right to be Forgotten rules.  The recent court ruling has generated controversy from various stakeholders because it requires search engines to delete links to information – though the information is still legally available at the original…

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