This statement can be attributed to Jeff Joseph, President, Software & Information Industry Association regarding the markup of the newly introduced federal privacy bill, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (H.R.8152).
We are encouraged by the accelerated bipartisan efforts to develop a federal framework for data privacy and appreciate that the legislation has been amended in the past two weeks to address several of our concerns, including:
- Providing clarity for covered entities and service providers working with government entities;
- Focusing the definition of biometric information to clarify the types of data that are most likely to raise privacy concerns;
- Introducing the term “substantial privacy risk,” which we believe can provide a basis for focusing other aspects of the legislation;
- Improving the provisions on algorithmic assessments to focus those requirements in ways that will better advance civil rights;
- Including clear permissible purposes for data use by a covered entity guided by more reasonable data minimization principles; and
- Loosening restrictions on targeted ads, by removing information about individual’s online activity from the definition of sensitive covered data.
Unfortunately, the bill is not yet ready for enactment. As the House proceeds through subcommittee and committee markup, there remain critical issues that it will need to address. Among these:
- The legislation’s treatment of publicly available information remains unconstitutional;
- The preemption section invites the anti-consumer, anti-innovation continuation of a patchwork of state laws;
- The legislation continues to invite litigation abuse; and
- The legislation defers to the Federal Trade Commission to provide by regulation foundational guidance on key issues that warrant clear legislative direction.
SIIA looks forward to engaging with the Congress as they work through this draft. We remain committed to working toward – and are hopeful we will soon achieve – balanced, comprehensive federal privacy legislation.