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.

FTC Competition Hearings Will Focus On Privacy, Big Data Tuesday; FTC Yet to Hold Hearings on Broadband Competition and Net Neutrality

Washington — This month, the FTC resumes another round of hearings. The hearing Tuesday will focus on privacy and big data  and then algorithms and AI will be discussed the following week. The Computer & Communications Industry Association appreciates that the FTC will be considering privacy, big data, and competition and looks forward to the…

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CCIA Welcomes EU-US Privacy Shield Review

Brussels, BELGIUM — The Computer & Communications Industry Association welcomes the second joint EU-U.S. Privacy Shield review which took place on Thursday and Friday this week. The Privacy Shield framework allows companies to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States while ensuring adequate protection of European citizens’ data. This second annual…

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MEPs Call For Changes To Privacy Shield, Threaten Suspension

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Parliament today passed a non-binding resolution calling for the suspension of the EU-US Privacy Shield framework by September 1, unless several improvements are made. The European Commission and the U.S. Administration will formally review the enforcement of the Privacy Shield in September. The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been…

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Supreme Court Rules That Cell Site Location Information Has Fourth Amendment Protection

Washington — Law enforcement cannot access a criminal suspect’s cell site location information without a warrant based on probable cause, according to a Supreme Court ruling today. Carpenter v. United States examined whether the warrantless seizure and search of historical cellphone records, revealing the location and movements of a cell phone user over the course…

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