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:

Privacy Circus This Week On Capitol Hill

Two new pieces of privacy legislation and a hearing are keeping Congress busy this week, while the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office just released a new set of rules for the use of cookies by websites. Center ring at the privacy circus this week was the first hearing called by the Senate Judiciary’s new Technology,…

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Senators Introduce Online Privacy Legislation

Senators John Kerry, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., are introducing online privacy legislation this afternoon. They say the goal is to update outdated laws to protect Americans privacy online and offline.The Computer & Communications Industry Association recognizes the need for baseline privacy practices. The following statement can be attributed to Computer & Communications Industry Association…

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Repertoire Group Slapped With Infringement Suit for Performing Cage’s 4’33” Plaintiff Says Musicians Played Minimalist Composer’s Silent Piece “Note for Note” Washington — John Cage broke new ground with his 1952 experimental piece 4’33”, featuring a musician sitting quietly and motionless at a piano for precisely four minutes and thirty three seconds.  Now the famed…

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Big Week For Online Privacy Initiatives

Yesterday was a big day for privacy as the White House released its white paper on consumer privacy, and simultaneously a group consisting of nearly all of the online advertising companies announced that they would begin work to recognize the Do-Not-Track header offered as a privacy feature by some web browsers. We’re happy to see…

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