Privacy for America is a new coalition founded by trade organizations 4A’s, ANA, IAB and NAI intended to create strict privacy protections for US consumers. The coalition seeks national law that protects consumers, creates a new division of the FTC and strictly punishes companies that breach or misuse personal data.
In the coming weeks, the coalition will meet with members of Congress, the FTC, Department of Commerce, the White House and others to present a national law based on Privacy for America’s paradigm.
If Privacy for America has its way, a new national law would make personal data less vulnerable to breach or misuse. Should it approved through government channels, the coalition’s paradigm would set forth clear, enforceable and nationwide consumer privacy protections for the first time in the US.
“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,” said Bob Liodice, CEO of ANA in a statement.
“And they deserve to expect and have the same tough privacy protections no matter where they live in the US.”
The proposed paradigm would impose significant restrictions on data use for advertising. For example, it would ban certain types of data from being collected and used for advertising, limit the purposes for which advertising data may be used and allowing consumers to identify their preferences regarding what advertising they do or do not wish to receive.
Strong data security protection would be required and enforced to guard against data breaches. Privacy for America wants to create a new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Data Protection Bureau that would strengthen the FTC’s ability to oversee consumer privacy and enforcement.
“Companies should adhere to well-defined policies that distinguish between legal data practices that benefit consumers, and illegal ones that make their personal information vulnerable,” said Randall Rothenberg, CEO of IAB.
“Companies that don’t follow the protections should be held accountable with strict penalties. Supply chain safety should be as mandatory in the digital media and advertising industry as it is in the auto or food industry.”
The paradigm also includes the prohibition of specific data practices including discrimination and sharing with third parties without enforceable contracts.
“The Privacy for America coalition’s approach will ensure responsible data practices and accountability, particularly throughout the advertising industry, which will restore consumer trust in the ecosystem,” said Leigh Freund, president and CEO of NAI.
Privacy for America is being advised by data privacy experts including Stuart Ingis, co-Chair of Venable LLP’s eCommerce, Privacy, and Cybersecurity Group and Jessica Rich, former director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
In a poll commissioned by Privacy for America, 92 percent of registered voters said it was important for Congress to pass new legislation to protect consumer data and 65 percent of voters said that new legislation is very important. When asked how such privacy laws should be passed, 63 percent believed the most effective route would be through the federal government, compared to 17 percent that said individual states would pass their own.