Why who makes the privacy rules matter as much as the rules themselves.
As Congress continues to consider a federal data privacy law, other entities are filling the regulatory vacuum in ways that present significant challenges for consumers and businesses.
Bills addressing data privacy have been considered in more than 20 states with California, Virginia and Colorado enacting laws that differ in their requirements for businesses and protections for consumers.
In addition, two of the largest technology companies have also launched initiatives under the banner of privacy that have attracted criticism from regulators, businesses and others.
This year, Apple announced several measures related to consumer privacy on its devices. Google recently announced that it would delay plans to remove third party cookies from its Chrome browser to late 2023 following concerns raised by publishers, advertisers, and the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority.
While Privacy for America shares the goals of consumer privacy and choice, these actions by these companies and a patchwork of state laws could do more harm than good, posing significant challenges for consumers, small and medium sized businesses, publishers, and app developers. For consumers, since each of these new efforts to address privacy are different, they only serve to provide confusing, uneven protections for consumers rather than a baseline set of protections for everyone who uses the internet. For companies, these unilateral actions have introduced enormous hurdles for businesses of every size, as they can unfairly restrict the responsible use of data that companies have come to rely on to serve and reach existing and potential customers and ultimately grow their businesses, while favoring the large tech companies’ own products. App developers, news organizations and other publishers would experience a ripple effect that could reduce their economic viability and the availability of free or low-cost content and services that advertising supports.
Given the myriad societal impacts that accompany these decisions, it is time for Congress to step in to establish new data and privacy norms in the U.S. What consumers really need is a comprehensive national privacy law that provides a uniform set of protections, no matter what devices, web browsers, or platforms they use online. And companies also need a clear set of rules they can follow to ensure they are protecting consumers in a holistic way while still preserving their ability to responsibly use data to conduct business.
Privacy for America has outlined how a federal bill could deliver these protections while still preserving the benefits of the internet for both consumers and businesses alike. Importantly, it would also include strong enforcement mechanisms to ensure businesses of all stripes are following the rules.
We are committed to working with lawmakers to enact this much needed legislation. Head here to learn more: https://www.privacyforamerica.com/overview/