Media Library (17)

Statement on: The Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act

The following statement can be attributed to Jeff Joseph, President, Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA):

“The Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act (CTDA) introduced yesterday by a bipartisan group of senators on the Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust aims to prohibit companies with more than $20 billion in digital ad revenue from running a ‘digital advertising exchange.’  This would force structural and behavioral changes on large and medium-sized companies in the digital advertising space and likely require companies like Google and Meta to sell off parts of their business.

“For companies with more than $5 billion in digital ad revenue, the bill imposes requirements related to greater transparency, an obligation to act in their customers best interests, and to undergo an annual compliance test.

“This bill continues a trend seen in other recently proposed legislation, where legislators seek to use the blunt instrument of antitrust law to punish a handful of large corporations, focusing only on a company’s size, not its conduct. If there are issues that need to be addressed, this is the wrong way to do it. Not only is competition in the digital ad space dynamic, but digital advertising is also what makes the free and open internet that we all enjoy possible. Forcing these changes would give consumers fewer choices that would be more costly.

“We encourage lawmakers to consider other options to resolve conflict of interest concerns such as establishing a code of conduct to mandate individually tailored behavioral changes coupled with auditability that would be implemented across the entire industry, not just to a small group of companies that are disfavored simply because of their size. Our nation has long believed in punishing companies for bad behavior, not for their success. That principle should continue to stand in the digital age.” 

Positive Data Privacy Case Study (Twitter Post) (2)

New SIIA Case Study Celebrates Positive Data Privacy Best Practices

This spring, we are showcasing companies that have launched innovative solutions and best practices for secure and responsible data use. These companies are not just supporting their customers, but providing socially beneficial uses that have a positive impact on the community – from human rights efforts, to improving personalized learning and educational outcomes, to combating deep fakes, to building conscious data practices into the digital ecosystem.

Read more about these data privacy super stars here.

EdTech

GovTech Quotes SIIA’s Victoria Akosile on EdTech Advocacy Day

Last week, SIIA hosted a Joint Ed Tech Advocacy Day spotlighting issues and advancement described in this post.

EdTech Advocacy Day: Modernizing E-Rate a Policy Priority

The Washington, D.C., event brought policymakers and other ed-tech stakeholders together to discuss policy proposals geared toward closing the digital divide, putting Wi-Fi on buses and other topics. Victoria Akosile, SIIA’s ed-tech policy manager, said such discussions and policy proposals will play a major role in closing the digital divide in education once and for all. “We were thrilled to hear about Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s proposal to allow E-rate funds to connect school buses to Wi-Fi,” she said. “SIIA is eager to continue to work with policymakers and our partner organizations to finally close the digital divide.”

The full article can be read here.

Supreme Court

SIIA Asks Supreme Court to Reinstate Injunction Against Texas Social Media Law

Today, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) called on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit which stayed a trial court injunction that prevented the enforcement of HB 20, Texas’s “social media” law.  The statute prohibits platforms from censoring any viewpoint based on the views of the user.  The trial court had ordered Texas officials not to enforce the law because its vagueness and content discrimination violated the First Amendment. Last Wednesday, without providing any reasoning, a divided three-judge panel stayed the injunction, allowing the statute to enter into force immediately.

 

SIIA joined a number of industry groups in filing an amicus brief emphasizing the practical harm that would follow from letting the Fifth Circuit decision stand.  “They should have named this the ‘No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Act,’” said Chris Mohr, SIIA’s General Counsel and SVP for Intellectual Property.  “It makes content moderation practically impossible. For our members and users of social media platforms, the decision has enormous implications for the safety and security of the internet. HB 20 would prevent our members from taking action to curb misinformation and hate speech and allow piracy of copyrighted works to proliferate online.  Both liberal and conservative scholars have recognized the problems with the law.  It’s our hope that the Court promptly vacates the Fifth Circuit’s decision.”  

 

 

EU Data

SIIA Response to EU Data Act

SIIA supports the objectives of the Act to unlock the innovative value of data while ensuring responsible practices for its use, collection, and sharing. Despite laudable intentions, the Act impedes business efforts to innovate and compete in a data-driven economy and imposes barriers on responsible data use. Certain provisions would increase compliance costs and impose barriers to commercial contracting that will hurt innovation and competition. Limited protection for intellectual property (IP) and trade secrets will limit incentives to innovate. Contrary to the objective of data minimisation, several provisions would lead businesses to create more rather than less data, increasing cybersecurity risk and personal data exposure. 

We offered the following recommendations, which we address in further detail in this attached paper.