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 Rules 25 Years Old Today

Today marks 25 years since President Ronald Reagan signed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act into law in 1986. In those years, technology has advanced at a rapid pace, and has given the government countless new tools to investigate and prosecute crime. The government can today collect information about the private lives of citizens, from their…

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CCIA Applauds Event Highlighting Outdated Privacy Rules

A bipartisan group of nonprofit privacy advocates is hosting a retro tech fair and press conference today. The goal is to highlight for Congress the need to reform the nation’s surveillance laws – which are outdated in the digital age. Modern technology exposes Americans’ lives to law enforcement and governmental prying without adequate protections. Emails,…

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Verizon's New Privacy Policies Alarming

Earlier this week, Verizon and Verizon Wireless began sending notices to their customers announcing a change to the privacy practices of the companies and a new program of targeted advertising. The letter informed customers that Verizon would be using information about the customers, including geographic location and which websites they visit, and would be sharing…

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Verizon’s New Privacy Policies Alarming

Earlier this week, Verizon and Verizon Wireless began sending notices to their customers announcing a change to the privacy practices of the companies and a new program of targeted advertising. The letter informed customers that Verizon would be using information about the customers, including geographic location and which websites they visit, and would be sharing…

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ECPA Reform Event: Party Like It's 1986

On October 20, join Google, Facebook, ACLU, Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Competitive Enterprise Institute, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), TechFreedom, and Americans for Tax Reform for happy hour inspired by the privacy protections of ECPA — Party Like It’s 1986. Event Info: When: Thursday October 20, 2011 5:00pm to 8:00pm Where: Top of…

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