The Importance of Balancing Privacy with Innovation, Consumer Benefits, and Other Rights in the FTC’s Approach to Consumer Data Privacy

Mercatus Center

These preferences can vary dramatically, and most Americans do not find themselves trapped by the data-driven websites; they choose to participate because they find those services beneficial. According to Zogby polling data conducted for NetChoice, 42 percent prefer targeted ads based on data collection to nontargeted ads. Americans also find themselves willing and able to leave platforms they no longer find beneficial, with 43 percent of participants in the same survey saying they had left a social media platform at some point. While only a small percentage chose to leave because of changes in a privacy policy, consumers nonetheless make choices when it comes to data-driven services.

Do Not Track is back in the US Senate. And this time it means business. As in, fining businesses that stalk you online

The Register

 NetChoice represents most of Big Tech in Washington DC – including Google, Facebook and Twitter – and said the proposed law would “harm consumers and competition.”

“By preventing the use of interest-based ads, this bill will result in more ads, more paywalls, and less content,” the lobbying group said in a statement on Monday. “Senator Hawley’s bill undermines small online businesses trying to compete with large incumbents by preventing them from making the most from their smaller user base.”

It concludes that the bill “doesn’t give users more rights over their data, it gives users the right to use online platforms without paying for them.”

The Do Not Track Act Would Harm the Digital Marketplace

Today, Sen. Hawley announced the introduction of the “Do Not Track Act.” The bill claims to give consumers the right to use online services without allowing those services to use interest-based advertising.

“This bill harms consumers and competition,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “By preventing the use of interest-based ads, this bill will result in more ads, more paywalls, and less content.”

“Sen. Hawley’s bill undermines small online businesses trying to compete with large incumbents by preventing them from making the most from their smaller user base. This bill most helps large businesses with trusted names while kneecapping future competitors.”

“Sen. Hawley’s bill doesn’t give users more rights over their data, it gives users the right to use online platforms without paying for them.”

America’s GDPR

The Margins

Meanwhile, actual tech industry lobby groups are pushing federal legislation along the same lines as that proposed by the tech-funded think tanks. One of the largest lobbying groups for Silicon Valley, NetChoice, has rallied behind Sen. Marco Rubio’s, R-Fla., privacy bill. His bill would roll back state regulation and place enforcement authority largely under the Federal Trade Commission, a notoriously toothless federal agency with no rule-making power, instead of letting consumers directly sue tech companies under the law.

Subcommittee No. 5, Issue 19: California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 BCP (SUPPORT)

Subcommittee No. 5, Issue 19: California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 BCP (SUPPORT)

Hawley escalates attacks on online companies’ practices, says he’ll push bill to limit game apps

St. Louis Dispatch and Cherokee Tribune

But Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, an online commerce association that represents Facebook, Twitter and other big tech companies, warned that “knee-jerk reactions to perceived problems could harm small businesses and our ability to connect with friends and family.”

Missouri Sen. Hawley finds a new target in his war with tech industry: Candy Crush

The Kansas City Star

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, a group which represents the tech industry, called Hawley’s bill well-intentioned but overly broad. He said the bulk of “loot-box games” are targeted at adults rather than teens.

“Furthermore, as a parent, it’s my right to choose what games and services are appropriate for my children, not the government’s,” Szabo said in an email.

How to read a Facebook privacy settlement

Axios

The spin is already flowing. After Facebook predicted it would face a multibillion fine, the industry group NetChoice, which represents Facebook, said that the “expected fine demonstrates to consumers and European regulators that the FTC is serious about privacy.”