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:

Trump Administration’s Cybersecurity Executive Order Smartly Builds On Previous Efforts

Last week, the Trump Administration released its long awaited Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure (“Cybersecurity EO” or “Executive Order”). The Order launches significant reviews of the federal government’s digital vulnerabilities, existing efforts to protect critical infrastructure, and the development of the “cyber workforce”, and focuses on three…

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Trump Administration's Cybersecurity Executive Order Smartly Builds On Previous Efforts

Last week, the Trump Administration released its long awaited Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure (“Cybersecurity EO” or “Executive Order”). The Order launches significant reviews of the federal government’s digital vulnerabilities, existing efforts to protect critical infrastructure, and the development of the “cyber workforce”, and focuses on three…

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The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Stands on Firm Ground

Washington — The EU-US Privacy Shield Framework, concluded last year, is critical to the information flows driving $260 billion in transatlantic digital services. It is critical to the ability of Europeans to enjoy these services in a privacy-protective way, and to supporting innovation on both sides of the Atlantic. The agreement’s multi-layered privacy protections are…

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CCIA Applauds Passage of Email Privacy Act

Washington – The House approved the Email Privacy Act under a suspension of the rules Monday. The legislation, which passed with a voice vote, would enhance privacy protections to citizens’ email. The bill will now go on to the Senate for further consideration. The bipartisan Email Privacy Act would clarify that Fourth Amendment protections extend…

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CCIA Asks House To Pass Email Privacy Act

Washington – The House is expected to once again vote on the Email Privacy Act under a suspension of the rules Monday. Last session the House unanimously approved legislation to enhance privacy protections to citizens’ email. The bipartisan Email Privacy Act clearly gives Fourth Amendment protections to electronic communications by requiring the government to obtain…

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European Commission Releases E-Privacy Proposal

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission today released its proposal for a Regulation “concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications”, better known as the “ePrivacy Regulation”.  The new rules seek to cover a variety of online applications from those that provide communications and messaging services services to…

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