April 11, 2019

Top policy experts and trade organizations today launched the new “Privacy for America” coalition, which will work with Congress to support enactment of groundbreaking comprehensive federal consumer data privacy and security legislation.

Privacy for America outlined a bold new paradigm for a national law that would make personal data less vulnerable to breach or misuse and set forth clear, enforceable and nationwide consumer privacy protections for the first time, including:

  •     Prohibiting a variety of specific data practices, including using a person’s data to deny them a job, credit or healthcare, unless specifically permitted under existing federal or state laws; using personal characteristics like race or color to discriminate against a person in setting prices or determining eligibility for products or services; or sharing consumer data with third parties without enforceable contracts to ensure their lawful use of the data;
  •     Creating a new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Data Protection Bureau, to enhance the FTC’s longstanding expertise in overseeing privacy matters; granting strengthened rulemaking authority to the FTC; and authorizing strict penalties for companies that engage in prohibited privacy practices – to increase substantially privacy oversight and enforcement;
  •     Imposing significant restrictions on data use for advertising – including banning certain types of data from being collected or used for advertising, limiting the purposes for which advertising data may be used, and allowing consumers to identify their preferences regarding what advertising they do or do not wish to receive; and
  •     Requiring strong data security protections to guard against data breaches.

Privacy for America provides a powerful advocacy platform representing the advertising industry with members from virtually every sector of the economy. The steering committee includes leaders from the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies), ANA (Association of National Advertisers), IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), and NAI (Network Advertising Initiative).

The new coalition is guided by some of the most experienced public policy experts in data privacy, cybersecurity and consumer protection, including Stuart Ingis, Chairman of Venable LLP and Co-Chair of Venable’s eCommerce, Privacy, and Cybersecurity Group, and Jessica Rich, former director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Rich is advising the coalition, bringing the consumer protection and law enforcement perspective to this effort and helping to ensure the outcome is as strong as possible. She brings twenty-six years of FTC experience and an outstanding reputation as a champion for consumers who understands the importance of the digital economy.

“All Americans deserve clear, strong and effective data privacy protections. These protections will help provide assurance to consumers their data will not be used in unexpected or harmful ways,” said Bob Liodice, CEO of ANA. “Americans must not be forced to choose between protecting their privacy and enjoying the many benefits they have all come to expect from the advertising-supported Internet, mobile and other media. And they deserve to expect and have the same tough privacy protections no matter where they live in the U.S.”

“Consumers should be confident that rules are in place to protect their privacy when they enjoy benefits like loyalty programs and savings, the convenience of a personalized experience, or ready access to the wide variety of freely accessible content,” said Marla Kaplowitz, CEO of 4A’s. “Harmful data practices should not be subject to choice – they should be prohibited. That’s exactly what this new framework does.”

“Companies should adhere to well-defined policies that distinguish between legal data practices that benefit consumers, and illegal ones that make their personal information vulnerable. Companies that don’t follow the protections should be held accountable with strict penalties,” said Randall Rothenberg, CEO of IAB. “Supply chain safety should be as mandatory in the digital media and advertising industry as is in the auto or food industry.”

“Consumers currently don’t trust that all companies are using their data responsibly, and they do not want to be subjected to lengthy and complex notices that explain such use in terms they don’t understand,” said Leigh Freund, President and CEO of NAI. “Consumers should instead be able to count on strong data privacy and security protections without having to scrutinize data practices to avoid harmful outcomes. The Privacy for America coalition’s approach will ensure responsible data practices and accountability, particularly throughout the advertising industry, which will restore consumer trust in the ecosystem.”

“The United States needs a bold new paradigm for privacy legislation,” said Stuart Ingis. “Our framework would create new protections for consumers backed by enforcement and penalties for those who don’t comply.”

In a poll commissioned by Privacy for America, 63 percent of registered voters believed letting the federal government pass a national data privacy law would be the most effective approach to protect consumer data, compared to only 17 percent of registered voters who believed letting individual states pass their own data privacy laws would be most effective. In addition, 92 percent of registered voters said it was important for Congress to pass new legislation to protect consumer data, with 65 percent of voters saying new legislation is very important.



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