WASHINGTON, DC, DECEMBER 3, 2019 – A coalition representing a broad cross section of the U.S. economy today released a comprehensive new framework for privacy legislation that would fundamentally advance the way consumer privacy and security are protected.

The Privacy for America coalition, of which the Insights Association is a founding member, presented the new legislative framework today in the form of draft legislation delivered to key members and committees of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

This new approach to data privacy would not rely on the current ‘notice and choice’ model underlying the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the soon-to-be-in-force California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which presents consumers with endless and complex privacy notices that they must accept if they want to participate in today’s economy.

Instead, this new approach clearly defines and makes illegal data practices that would harm consumers or otherwise make personal data vulnerable to breach or misuse while preserving the benefits that come from the responsible use of data and ensuring the economy can grow and innovate. This new paradigm shifts the burden away from consumers and toward a common set of privacy norms backed by strong enforcement to incentivize and ensure accountability by the businesses and organizations that use data every day.

"Compliance with the old-model laws and regulations is onerous and challenging for companies and consumers – and sometimes literally impossible – while limiting real benefits," said David Almy, CEO of the Insights Association. “This advanced, next-generation approach emphasizes reasonable and beneficial uses of personal information combined with clear, explicit punishment for its exploitation.”

The coalition hopes the framework, which expands and builds upon principles released in April, will advance policy discussions and help build the consensus necessary to enact bipartisan data privacy legislation in 2020.

“By prohibiting the exploitation of personal data, this new comprehensive approach to privacy regulation directly and explicitly alleviates consumer concerns,” noted Howard Fienberg, VP Advocacy for the Insights Association. “It will establish legally-stipulated punishments for a definitive set of harms and a newly-empowered Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as the top cop to make them stick.”

Other provisions of the new framework include:

  • Prohibitions against using consumer data to determine eligibility for a job, health care, financial aid, insurance, credit or housing outside of existing laws governing eligibility for these important benefits;
  • Prohibitions against discrimination by using consumer data to set higher prices based on an individual’s race, color, religion, sexual orientation, and more;
  • Prohibitions against obtaining sensitive information like health, financial, biometric, and geolocation data without first obtaining users’ express consent;
  • Provisions protecting so-called “tweens,” a vulnerable group of consumers aged 13-15 that is actively engaged online but not often subject to constant parental oversight;
  • A requirement that companies make privacy policies much easier to read and understand;
  • Provisions that give consumers the right to request access to and deletion of the personal information that a company holds about them, as well as the right to port certain data from one platform to another;
  • The right to block companies from drawing detailed interferences or making predictions about them, with certain exceptions;
  • Significant new rulemaking authority, resources, and staff that will allow the Federal Trade Commission to more aggressively pursue and punish bad actors; and
  • Recognition that certain beneficial data uses are reasonable, including marketing research.

To see comprehensive federal data privacy legislation enacted, the Insights Association and the other Privacy for America members will continue to meet with leaders in Congress, the FTC, the Department of Commerce, the White House, companies across all sectors of the U.S. economy, and other stakeholders to successfully address this important issue.

The draft legislative text and additional information may be found here.

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