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.

Privacy Caucus Discusses Children’s Privacy Online

The House privacy caucus held a panel discussion today on Capitol Hill today on what is needed to better protect children’s privacy online. The Computer & Communications Industry Association recognizes the need for information and choice when it comes to online privacy practices. The following statement can be attributed to Computer & Communications Industry Association…

-

FTC Settles Facebook Privacy Issue

The Federal Trade Commission has announced a settlement with Facebook after an investigation of its privacy practices. As part of the agreement, Facebook has agreed to various privacy measures and annual privacy audits for 20 years. The Computer & Communications Industry Association recognizes the need for information and choice when it comes to online privacy…

-

Supreme Court Hears GPS Tracking Case

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in the case of United States v. Jones, which questions whether the police must have a valid warrant in order to place a GPS tracking device on a person’s car and track their movements all day every day for a month. The government argues that they should not,…

-