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:

House Introduces Email Privacy Act

Washington — Members of Congress are attempting again to get email privacy legislation across the finish line this Congress. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) are introducing the Email Privacy Act today. The legislation would more clearly extend Fourth Amendment protections to electronic communications by requiring the government to obtain a warrant based…

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CCIA panels at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Mexico

Will you be amongst the 2,500 attendees at this week’s IGF in Guadalajara, Mexico?  Check out our two IGF sessions: Wednesday, Dec 7, 12:00, Room 3:  CCIA & Council of Europe session: “Law Enforcement, Cyberspace & Jurisdiction” (WS87). Thursday, Dec 8, 15:00, Room 10: “The Right to be Forgotten & Privatized Judication” (WS28). CCIA’s Christian…

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Privacy Shield Adopted: Clarity For Firms, Privacy Win For Consumers

Brussels, Belgium —  The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, the new framework for transatlantic data transfers, was adopted in Brussels today after EU Member States approved it last week. Privacy Shield was unveiled by European Justice Commissioner, Věra Jourová and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. The European Commission has in its recent negotiations obtained a number of…

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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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