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'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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CCIA Reaction To Another Privacy Organization

Washington, D.C. – A new group called Future of Privacy is being created reportedly to help shape the discussion of privacy policy during the Obama administration. Jules Polonetsky, AOL’s former chief privacy officer will co-found the group along with Christopher Wolf of the Washington law firm Proskauer Rose LLP. The Computer & Communications Industry Association…

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New Evidence Of Surveillance Abuse

Two military intercept officers who worked at a National Security Agency center in Georgia told ABC News they eavesdropped on the phone conversations of hundreds of U.S. citizens overseas. The officers told how operators would pass around time codes of the calls journalists, soldiers and aid workers made to friends and family back home. The…

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FCC To Vote Tomorrow On Network Management Violation

The FCC is scheduled to vote Friday on whether Comcast violated federal rules when it slowed down the transmission of files for those using the video sharing application BitTorrent. Comcast attempted to defend its actions saying P2P file sharing uses lots of bandwidth and slowing traffic was a network management practice needed to prevent congestion…

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