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Innovation for America — But not for Illinois

Individual privacy is important, and Illinois should continue to enact legislation that protects our state’s consumers. However, when class-action attorneys abuse Illinois’ privacy laws to create new laws that will only enrich themselves, Illinois residents will be the ones left out as the rest of country’s technology advances.

For example, Illinois residents cannot use several home-security cameras with facial recognition to know when their children arrive home safely from school. They also cannot use facial recognition to tag and find friends and family members in personal photos stored on Amazon Photos.

READ MORE at State-Journal Register

NetChoice Welcomes the ECPA Modernization Act of 2017

“NetChoice welcomes the ECPA Modernization Act of 2017’s common-sense privacy protections for our electronic communications.  Today, our privacy in electronic communication is protected by a 30-year-old law that is decades out of date.  The Act brings the 30-year-old ECPA law into the 21st Century” said NetChoice Senior Policy Counsel Carl Szabo.

It would be a mistake for Congress to prohibit targeted advertising online

The Internet has democratized access to information and delivered a dazzling array of free online services, like search, news, maps, and social media. But imagine a world where the next time you use a search engine, instead of seeing results, you see a requirement to enter a credit card. Or the next time you visit USA Today there is fewer content and even more ads on the screen.

In this alternate world, you are bombarded with pop-ups and interstitials, all of which are asking for consent in various ways: blanket consent for use of all “sensitive” information, consent for use of some sensitive information, consent for use of sensitive and non-sensitive information, and so on.

It’s hard to argue that this world would be an improvement for user experience, much less user privacy.

Nonetheless, this troubling future could become a reality if Congress passes the “BROWSER Act” – legislation that requires online websites and services to get affirmative consent from users before serving any ads based on their interests. The proposed legislation would create a nightmare “opt-in regime for interest-based ads.”

READ MORE at The Hill

Illinois Legislation Hammers Small Businesses

While attending the University of Chicago, my dad, like many college students, often stopped by his favorite pizza parlor for some choice deep dish pan pizza. Since then, many of the mom and pop pizza parlors he frequented have migrated online to serve a larger customer base and cut down on brick and mortar expenses. But with the impending passage of SB 1502, these Illinois mainstays of the community might be facing burdensome costs that provide no real benefit to them or their customers.

SB 1502 would require the operator of a commercial website or online service to notify customers anytime information about them is collected or disclosed. This information can be for germane purposes and operational maintenance to reasons related to the nature of the website. Read more

Ohlhausen should direct FTC to focus on real harms to privacy

When was the last time you read a privacy policy? I mean actually read it, not just clicked “I agree”?

The FTC has said time and time again that “consumers don’t read privacy policies.”  They’ve been doing this for nearly a decade. In 2007, then-Federal Trade Commissioner Jon Leibowitz declared that “in many cases, consumers don’t notice, read, or understand the privacy policies.” Likewise, study after study has substantiated this fact.

Of course, it doesn’t take an FTC chairman, or a researcher to tell us this, we all know that we rarely, if ever, read the privacy policies we’re presented.

READ MORE at The Hill

NetChoice Applauds Introduction of Email Privacy Act

The Email Privacy Act (HR 387) would extend privacy protections to all electronic content, fixing a legacy flaw in our law that give little protection to emails over 6 months old. 

The bi-partisan Email Privacy Act (HR 387) brings common-sense legal privacy protections to all our electronic content.  Today, our privacy in electronic communication is protected by a 30-year-old law that is decades out of date.  The Act brings the 30-year-old ECPA law into the 21st Century,” said NetChoice Senior Policy Counsel Carl Szabo.

“We look forward to working with Congress in advancing this bill to benefit all Americans.”

Steve DelBianco speaks with Small Business Radio

Part 1: We’re losing the battle for online taxes and consumer privacy

Part 2: The ongoing war for privacy and security in the cloud

Part 3: How much online freedom did you lose in 2016?

On Surveillance, DOJ Needs to Know When to Fold ‘Em

Our Department of Justice needs to heed Kenny Rogers’ advice in “The Gambler,” and “know when to fold ‘em.” In their pursuit of data on Microsoft’s servers in Ireland, the DOJ is again betting on a bad hand, and they’re not going to bluff their way to a win when the stakes are so high for companies and consumers around the world.

Last week, the DOJ went all-in by petitioning the Second Circuit court for rehearing after losing this summer in court.

READ MORE at Morning Consult

The Hill – European courts should provide a clear ‘Safe Harbor’ for the Internet

To watch BBC News or send online messages to European friends, data must flow across the Atlantic. The EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Agreement makes these data transfers possible – but this might soon change.

We could soon see “cyber-fences” between the U.S. and EU if negotiators from both sides fail to adopt a new agreement by the end of the month.

Read more at The Hill

Student privacy legislation requires a surgical approach

Our nation’s schools have always been responsible for providing a safe educational environment for our children.  Today, technology in the classroom is making our schools face challenges meeting that responsibility.

But some believe schools must choose between privacy and technology. This is a false choice.  Parents, schools, students, and lawmakers can have both – it’s just a matter of crafting the right policy.

Read more at The Hill