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:

CCIA Comments For House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Behavioral Advertising/ Privacy Hearing

The Computer & Communications Industry Association appreciates Chairman Rush organizing today’s hearing about the relationships among online behavioral advertising, the health of e-commerce, and consumer value and privacy with respect to tracking by websites and search engines. The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black: “Online advertising helps underwrite the…

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CCIA Comments For House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Behavioral Advertising/ Privacy Hearing

The Computer & Communications Industry Association appreciates Chairman Rush organizing today’s hearing about the relationships among online behavioral advertising, the health of e-commerce, and consumer value and privacy with respect to tracking by websites and search engines. The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black: “Online advertising helps underwrite the…

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CCIA Outlines Priorities For National Broadband Plan

The Computer & Communications Industry Association filed its recommendations to the FCC today for developing a national broadband plan. The Administration’s attention to a holistic plan shows it understands that infrastructure for universal high speed Internet access is as crucial as access to electricity and telephone service were last century. “Affordable access to high-speed Internet…

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CCIA’s Recommendations to Obama’s Transition Team

As President-elect Obama takes his oath of office to defend the Constitution, he will have the opportunity to protect the Constitution’s most important 1st Amendment, which guards free speech, in new and unique ways. Never before has there been a national leader who better understood both the importance of free speech and the power of the…

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