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 Praises Facebook's New Transparency Report

CCIA congratulates Facebook on the release yesterday of their first transparency report. The report, which lists the numbers of government requests for information about Facebook users, will serve to increase users’ trust.  Reports such as these have become popular among web companies that store users’ data for them and Facebook’s report helps add to that growing body of information. The…

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CCIA Praises Facebook’s New Transparency Report

CCIA congratulates Facebook on the release yesterday of their first transparency report. The report, which lists the numbers of government requests for information about Facebook users, will serve to increase users’ trust.  Reports such as these have become popular among web companies that store users’ data for them and Facebook’s report helps add to that growing body of information. The…

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CCIA Praises Introduction of Surveillance Transparency Legislation

Two House and Senate Judiciary committee leaders on privacy issues have introduced legislation to add transparency requirements to the law used by the NSA to carry out surveillance on Americans.  Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has introduced the Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., “The Surveillance Order Reporting Act.” Both bills give companies who receive data demands from the government the…

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CCIA Supports Result of NTIA Multi-Stakeholder Process

CCIA appreciates the opportunity to have participated in the multistakeholder process convened by the Administration, and supports closing debate on this Code of Conduct today for mobile transparency. While any such process is by no means perfect, and there are provisions that we might have approached differently, we recognize and celebrate the hard work done…

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CCIA, Others Ask For More Transparency On Surveillance Practices

In a letter to President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and key House and Senate leaders, a diverse group of more than 50 trade associations, companies, public interest organizations and investors call for more transparency when the government issues security-related data requests. The letter is signed by organizations that are not often on the same side. In…

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