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.

‘Off-Facebook Activity’ Feature Offers Consumers New Transparency and Control

Washington — Today Facebook announced the release of its long-anticipated ‘Clear History’ tool named “off-Facebook Activity”. This feature allows users to access browsing data recorded by third-party websites and applications for advertising purposes and to disassociate that information from their Facebook accounts.  The Computer & Communications Industry Association has long supported industry efforts to empower…

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EU Ministers Approve Negotiating Mandates on Law Enforcement Access to Digital Evidence

Brussels, BELGIUM — Today, EU Justice Ministers adopted two negotiating mandates for bilateral and regional agreements to improve law enforcement access to e-evidence. The first negotiating mandate authorises the European Commission to enter into bilateral negotiations with the United States government to facilitate law enforcement access to digital evidence in criminal investigations on both sides…

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EU and US Policy and Tech Leaders Discuss Tech Policy At CCIA’s Transatlantic Event

Washington — Senior U.S. government and EU officials and tech representatives discussed digital policy issues requiring cooperation like cybersecurity and online censorship at CCIA’s “Transatlantic Digital Economy 2019” event Thursday afternoon. Robert Strayer, Ambassador & Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy for the U.S. Department of State and Roberto Viola,…

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