FPF Testifies Before House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce, Supporting Congress’s Efforts on the “American Data Privacy and Protection Act”
This week, FPF’s Senior Policy Counsel Bertram Lee testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce hearing, “Protecting America’s Consumers: Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen Data Privacy and Security” regarding the bipartisan, bicameral privacy discussion draft bill, “American Data Privacy and Protection Act” (ADPPA). FPF has a history of supporting the passage of a comprehensive federal consumer privacy law, which would provide businesses and consumers alike with the benefit of clear national standards and protections.
Lee’s testimony opened by applauding the Committee on its efforts towards comprehensive federal privacy legislation and emphasized the “time is now” for its passage. As it is written, the ADPPA would address gaps in the sectoral approach to consumer privacy, establish strong national civil rights protections, and establish new rights and safeguards for the protection of sensitive personal information.
“The ADPPA is more comprehensive in scope, inclusive of civil rights protections, and provides individuals with more varied enforcement mechanisms in comparison to some states’ current privacy regimes,” Lee said in his testimony. “It also includes corporate accountability mechanisms, such as the requiring privacy designations, data security offices, and executive certifications showing compliance, which is missing from current states’ laws. Notably, the ADPPA also requires ‘short-form’ privacy notices to aid consumers of how their data will be used by companies and their rights — a provision that is not found in any state law.”
Lee’s testimony also provided four recommendations to strengthen the bill, which include:
- Additional funding and resources for the FTC;
- Developing a more iterative process to ensure that the bill can keep up with evolving technologies;
- Clarifying the intersection of ADPPA with other federal privacy laws (COPPA, FERPA, HIPAA, etc.); and
- Establishing clear definitions and distinctions between different types of covered entities, including service providers.
Many of the recommendations would ensure that the legislation gives individuals meaningful privacy rights and places clear obligations on businesses and other organizations that collect, use and share personal data. The legislation would expand civil rights protections for individuals and communities harmed by algorithmic discrimination as well as require algorithmic assessments and evaluations to better understand how these technologies can impact communities.