WASHINGTON—NetChoice applauds Congress’ attention to privacy for consumers online, an issue that Americans actually care about.
When it comes to technology, Americans are overwhelmingly more concerned about the use and protection of their information than other issues such as antitrust that are of little to no concern.
Now that the bill has been marked up by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, lawmakers must continue to adopt important changes before moving the legislation to the floor.
“Passing a good federal privacy law should be a key priority for lawmakers,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Consumers and small businesses need a national standard to navigate today’s complex digital environment, but the American Data Privacy and Protection Act fails to create such a standard. We hope Congress makes some key changes to this bill so it is ready for passage.”
NetChoice’s Benefits and Concerns With the Draft of the Bill Considered Today:
- It focuses on true privacy harms to consumers, rather than arbitrarily targeting only certain companies or industries for regulation.
- It rightly recognizes the goal is to have data collectors comply with clear rules rather than punish accidents. The purpose of privacy laws is to protect consumers, not to line the pockets of attorneys and this approach limits the possibility of creating a cottage-industry of “gotcha ” class action lawsuits.
- It addresses consumer concerns in a basic but flexible manner and respects firm size when it comes to resources and expectations.
- Consumers are just as at risk from privacy issues from small businesses as they are from big ones. As a result, the bill should treat all data collectors equally and not exempt businesses with less than $41 million in annual revenue from important data security requirements.
- It fails to create a national standard for data collectors and Americans alike. As Americans seamlessly travel between states, their privacy protections and privacy expectations should do so as well.
- It opens the door for exploitative and frivolous lawsuits by enabling a full private right of action just four years after enactment.
- It makes it challenging for young people to use the web and learn by implementing an arbitrary solution to address a genuine concern.
- Price discrimination provisions in the bill will impact businesses of all stripes, controlling how they use digital tools to promote products, including sponsored surveys, frequent visitor discounts, and options for free versions of apps funded by interest-based advertising.
If you’d like to speak with Jennifer Huddleston or Carl Szabo, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.