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:

Expansion of CALEA Concerns CCIA

The Computer & Communications Industry Association is sending to all Members of Congress a joint letter expressing concern about the impact of renewed efforts to expand the government’s power to wiretap and electronically spy on citizens. The open letter to members of Congress and the Administration is jointly signed by the American Library Association, the…

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“Internet Kill Switch” Bill Conflicts With Broader US Internet Agenda

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) says she plans to re-introduce legislation that would grant the President broad authority over swaths of Internet infrastructure to confront a “cyber emergency.” The re-emergence of this legislation, coinciding with the five-day Internet blackout across Egypt, has come under criticism this week. Egypt’s Internet shutdown has raised concerns about that happening…

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"Internet Kill Switch" Bill Conflicts With Broader US Internet Agenda

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) says she plans to re-introduce legislation that would grant the President broad authority over swaths of Internet infrastructure to confront a “cyber emergency.” The re-emergence of this legislation, coinciding with the five-day Internet blackout across Egypt, has come under criticism this week. Egypt’s Internet shutdown has raised concerns about that happening…

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CCIA Offers Data Privacy Comments

CCIA submitted comments to the Department of Commerce January 28th in response to the green paper they released in December entitled “Commercial Data Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy.” We applaud the Department of Commerce for undertaking the large task of addressing the complex and important issues surrounding consumer privacy and innovation on the Internet. The…

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CCIA Offers Data Privacy Comments

CCIA submitted comments to the Department of Commerce January 28th in response to the green paper they released in December entitled “Commercial Data Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy.” We applaud the Department of Commerce for undertaking the large task of addressing the complex and important issues surrounding consumer privacy and innovation on the Internet. The…

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What Election Results Mean For Tech Policy

Though a few key races for the tech industry remain undecided, CCIA and others interested in tech policy are sorting through what this election and the divided government left in its aftermath mean for our issues. First, what won’t change: many tech issues are bipartisan – privacy, cybersecurity, spectrum and some areas of the National…

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