SIIA Digital Policy Roundup: Mobile App Privacy Code of Conduct Approved, Cybersecurity Gets a Legislative Boost, E-Rate Expansion and Postal Reform Move Forward

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Mobile App Privacy Code of Conduct Approved, Testing is Next Step

At the last scheduled meeting of the Department of Commerce-led multistakeholder initiative on mobile app transparency, SIIA joined a wide range of groups voting in support of the voluntary Code of Conduct, citing it as a useful model for app providers to develop short privacy statements about an apps data collection and sharing practices. After the meeting, DOC Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling lauded the effort, stating “today a diverse group of stakeholders reached a seminal milestone in the efforts to enhance consumer privacy on mobile devices,” and encouraging all the companies that participated in the discussion to move forward to test the code with their consumers. SIIA will be providing additional information in the coming weeks to educate SIIA members about the Code and how they might want to use this as a model for providing enhanced mobile app transparency.

Cybersecurity Gets a Boost from Bipartisan Senate Legislation

Bipartisan cybersecurity legislation, the Cybersecurity Act of 2013 (S. 1353), introduced recently by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Republican John Thune (R-SD), moved quickly through the Cmte. hearing and markup process, being approved today by a voice vote. SIIA supports the legislation because it would accomplish several objectives for protecting the Nation from cyber threats. Although Congress is heading into August recess next week, this legislation revitalizes hope that Congress could enact consensus cybersecurity legislation this year. Meanwhile, discussions are still ongoing among Congressional leaders regarding legislation to enhance cyber information sharing, another critical objective of SIIA that has yet to see significant bipartisan consensus. Expect cybersecurity to be a major issue through the end of the Congressional session.

SIIA Supports E-Rate Expansion as Proposal Moves Forward

Earlier this month, SIIA praised the Federal Communications Commission for approving a new rulemaking aimed at updating and enhancing the E-Rate. The vote follows President Obama’s “ConnectEd” proposal last month to enhance high-speed broadband connectivity for the nation’s schools and libraries, which calls for leveraging the Program within five years connect 99 percent of America’s students through next-generation broadband (at speeds no less than 100Mbps and with a target of 1Gbps), and high-speed wireless within, their schools and libraries. This is still the early stages of E-Rate expansion, but a critical step. Read more on SIIA’s Digital Discourse Blog.

Postal Reform Moves Forward in House, Preserves Periodical Rate

Last week, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted to approve the The Postal Reform Act of 2013. Importantly for SIIA members, the Postal Reform Act of 2013 maintains the Consumer Price Index-based rate structure and also establishes a common sense timetable to evaluate rates and cost coverage for classes of periodicals and other classes of mail. SIIA hailed the Cmte. vote and legislation as the right approach to get the USPS back on the path to financial stability and to provide a reliable and sustainable delivery service for mailers. Read more on SIIA’s Digital Discourse Blog.

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David David LeDuc is Senior Director, Public Policy at SIIA. He focuses on e-commerce, privacy, cyber security, cloud computing, open standards, e-government and information policy. Follow the SIIA public policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy.