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 Welcomes Privacy Shield Review Report

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission today released its report on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield second annual review. The report notes recent improvements and says the framework is functioning well and “continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred […] to participating companies in the U.S.” The European Commission also called…

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E-Evidence: CCIA Calls on European Parliament to Ensure a Balanced Approach

Brussels, BELGIUM – European Justice Ministers today adopted a general approach on the draft EU e-Evidence Regulation. The text amends a Commission proposal that would allow national law enforcement authorities to directly request individuals’ data from most digital service providers during criminal proceedings. It also obliges service providers to supply the requested data within 10…

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CCIA Submits Privacy Principles, Comments to NTIA

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association presented the Commerce Department a set of strong “Privacy Principles” today to help guide the development of a national policy on consumer privacy. CCIA also filed substantive comments in response to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s request for information on consumer privacy. CCIA supports the development of…

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CCIA Calls For An EU-U.S. CLOUD Act Framework Agreement

Brussels — On November 8-9, an EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting will address, among other issues, cross-border law enforcement access to digital evidence for the purpose of criminal investigation and prosecution. The Computer & Communications Industry Association supports talks on a transatlantic framework, which would facilitate European and U.S. law enforcement access to…

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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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