NEWS11 April 2019

Privacy for America launches to push for data privacy law

Data analytics Media News North America Privacy Public Sector

US – A new coalition, Privacy for America, has been set up by advertising and marketing industry organisations to influence Congress over new federal legislation for data privacy protection.

america map with a padlock

The advocacy group’s members include the American Association of Advertising Agencies ( 4A’s) the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and market research industry body the Insights Association.

It aims to create a new paradigm for privacy and responsible data use, calling for a national law that would clearly define prohibited data practices and make personal data less vulnerable to breach or misuse.

Consumer privacy protections the coalition wants to see covered by legislation include:

  • Prohibiting specific harmful data practices such as using personal data to discriminate (for example, to turn someone down for a job) or sharing consumer data with third parties without enforceable contracts to ensure lawful use of the data
  • Establishing a new Data Protection Bureau within the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), giving the FTC more authority on privacy issues, including strict penalties for companies engaging in prohibited privacy practices
  • Imposing restrictions on data use for advertising
  • Requiring strong security protections to guard against data breaches.

Bob Liodice, chief executive of ANA, said: "These protections will help provide assurance to consumers their data will not be used in unexpected and harmful ways. 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."

The coalition is being advised by Stuart Ingis, co-chair of Venable LLP’s e-commerce, privacy, and cybersecurity group, and Jessica Rich, former director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Coalition members will meet with members of Congress, the FTC, the Department of Commerce and the White House over the coming months.

David Almy, chief executive of the Insights Association, said: "Research reveals strong public support for a federal data privacy law that protects consumers. All businesses benefiting from marketing research and data analytics depend upon the respect and cooperation of individuals. Privacy for America will work with a broad range of stakeholders to build consensus for enactment of this helpful framework into law."