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:

White House Offers Draft Legislative Privacy Proposal

Washington — The White House has released a comprehensive consumer privacy legislative proposal today.  The discussion draft, originally announced in the President’s State of the Union address last month, is based on the Administration’s 2012 Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. The goal is to require baseline privacy protections for consumers across industries and to allow…

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New Electronic Privacy Bills Would Buttress 4th Amendment Protections For Online Communications

Washington — Americans deserve privacy for their email!  The long-awaited Email Privacy Act is being reintroduced today in both the House and Senate. The legislation aims to reform existing laws to require the government to obtain a warrant before gaining access to email and other electronic communications. This House legislative effort led by Congressmen Kevin…

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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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