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.

Howard Schmidt Appointed Cybersecurity Chief

The Computer & Communications Industry Association is issuing the following statement in response to President Obama’s appointment of Howard Schmidt to serve as the nation’s cybersecurity chief. The following statement can be attributed to CCIA spokeswoman Heather Greenfield: “With momentum building on Capitol Hill to move cybersecurity legislation, this appointment comes at a critical time…

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Update online privacy laws now

Read CCIA’s Blog Post for The Hill’s Congress Blog CCIA’s Comments to FTC on consumer online privacy issues Congress and the Federal Trade Commission are gathering information to consider rules to protect consumer privacy on-line from potential commercial abuse.  Efforts at reform are missing the mark if they don’t address the very real privacy concerns…

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CCIA Urges FTC, Congress to Address Government Surveillance Along With Other Online Privacy Issues

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has filed comments today in response to the FTC’s announcement of a roundtable series to explore consumer online privacy issues. CCIA commends the Commission for hosting a series of roundtable discussions to explore important consumer online privacy issues surrounding information collection, and urges it and Congress not to lose sight of…

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