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.

Tech Industry Supports Member States’ Efforts To Improve Criminal Justice In Cyberspace

Brussels, Belgium — The Computer & Communications Industry Association, DIGITALEUROPE and BSA issued the joint statement below praising EU Member States for their balanced approach to improving criminal justice while protecting the privacy of citizens online. The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe Director Christian Borggreen: “We support the EU’s aim to improve criminal…

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Senate Considers Troubling Expansion of National Security Letter Authority

Washington -The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is currently reviewing various amendments in anticipation of its Thursday markup of the Email Privacy Act, which won unanimous passage from the House of Representatives earlier this year. One of the proposed amendments offered by Senator John Cornyn purports to “improve the provisions relating to the privacy of electronic…

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CCIA Applauds House Passage of Email Privacy Act

Washington – The House has unanimously approved legislation to enhance privacy protections to citizens’ email. The long overdue Email Privacy Act clearly gives Fourth Amendment protections to electronic communications by requiring the government to obtain a warrant based on probable cause to access the contents of citizens’ email stored in the cloud. The bipartisan bill,…

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CCIA Urges House Passage of Email Privacy Act

Washington – Tomorrow Congress is scheduled to take up the Email Privacy Act on the House floor. The Email Privacy Act, introduced by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Kevin Yoder (R-KS), is a bipartisan bill that aims to modernize the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to prevent Americans’ email from unwarranted government intrusion, in accordance…

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