Federal Privacy Bill Garners Support From Network Advertising Initiative, Other Business Groups

A federal privacy bill introduced this week by Rep. Suzan DelBene, a Democrat from Washington state who previously worked for Microsoft, appears to be garnering support from business groups.

DelBene's “Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act” would require companies to obtain consumers' opt-in consent before sharing or selling “sensitive” data, and allow consumers to opt out of the collection and sharing or selling of non-sensitive data.

The bill's definition of “sensitive” includes people's web browsing history and app use, unless the data is aggregated. But the requirement that companies obtain opt-in consent before sharing or selling that data has some loopholes -- including one that applies when companies disclose how they plan to use the information.

The bill would override many state privacy laws, including broad measures in California and Virginia. But the measure wouldn't trump state laws dealing with biometric privacy, data-breach notifications and wiretapping.

DelBene's bill also wouldn't empower consumers to bring private lawsuits over violations.

She stated this week that a federal privacy law is needed in order to “establish a uniform set of rights for consumers and create one set of rules for businesses.”

The ad industry's Network Advertising Initiative, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation and others are expressing support.

“The NAI welcomes the Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act & applauds @RepDelBene for promoting a national privacy framework over a state-by-state approach,” the ad organization tweeted this week.

“The Information Transparency & Personal Data Control Act is a much-needed step in the right direction toward protecting the privacy of all Americans equally,” the Chamber of Commerce added in an open letter.

On Thursday, Amazon tweeted its thanks to DelBene “for advancing the discussion on federal privacy legislation and recognizing the importance of innovation.”

The bill is just one of numerous privacy proposals introduced in Congress in recent years. So far, none have gained traction.

2 comments about "Federal Privacy Bill Garners Support From Network Advertising Initiative, Other Business Groups".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, March 12, 2021 at 5:31 p.m.

    Wendy, it would be/is extremly difficult to codify what "sensitive" means in terms of legislation.    What is sensitive for one user may not be sensitive for another user.

    IMHO I'd suggest that a 'laundry list' of things that users collectively may deem sensitive.   For example, you may not consider your age as sensitive, but your location may be highly sensitive.

    The user could then fill in check-boxes for what they deem to be sensitive.

  2. Jonathan May from HorseTV Global replied, March 26, 2021 at 1:35 p.m.

    Just what we need, another layer of preferences that are buried 12 layers down in their site, that the host finds someway around anyway. I have ZERO confidence when selecting preferences that the host will respect it in any way; the millennials who designed it really don't care about your privacy or any personal ownership of data and information you have to provide.  Does anyone REALLY trust Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc., to respect your personal data, when they have a million ways to get at it?  I loved the observation that they claimed they didn't "steal it" but rather "copied it."  This is how the minds of a corrupt institution see the world, and it's never to your advantage.

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