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 Reaffirms Support for EU-U.S. Privacy Shield as Joint Annual Review Begins

Washington DC  — E.U. and U.S. officials meet in Washington Monday and Tuesday for the first annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, the recently implemented framework for transatlantic transfers of commercial data. Representatives of the European Commission, U.S. Commerce and Justice Departments and a dozen other agencies will be examining how the new agreement’s…

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CCIA Encourages DOJ To Reassess Policies Regarding Warrants For Data Stored In The Cloud in Light of DreamHost Dispute

Washington — On Tuesday, the Department of Justice filed a motion in the District of Columbia Superior Court to narrow the scope of a controversial warrant it had served on web host DreamHost, regarding an Inauguration protest website. The initial warrant was widely characterized as overbroad by CCIA and others. CCIA has advocated for reasonable…

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CCIA Supports International Communications Privacy Act

Washington — Shortly after the introduction of the ECPA Modernization Act in the Senate, Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Chris Coons, D-Del., introduced the International Communications Privacy Act. ICPA would include similar warrant protections for electronic communications and help develop solutions for law enforcement access to communications that do not pertain to U.S. persons or…

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CCIA Applauds Senate For Introducing Updated Privacy Standards For Electronic Communications and Geolocation Information

Washington — Senators Lee and Leahy have introduced legislation that would offer email and geolocation information comprehensive privacy protections consistent with users’ present-day expectations. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was originally written in 1986 before most individuals’ communications were stored online. The ECPA Modernization Act of 2017 introduced Thursday would update ECPA to clearly…

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CCIA, Industry Associations Voice Support For Legislation On Law Enforcement Access To Data

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association joined other associations today in a letter to House Judiciary Committee leadership voicing support for the International Communications Privacy Act (ICPA). The letter comes in advance of a hearing on data stored abroad and its impacts on law enforcement and privacy. Policymakers are trying to balance law…

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