Sep 10, 2019

More than 50 CEOs urge Congress to pass consumer privacy law

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

51 Business Roundtable CEOs, including those from Amazon, AT&T and IBM, sent a letter to congressional leaders on Tuesday asking that consumer privacy legislation be fast-tracked into law.

Why it matters: Now more than ever politicians and government agencies are trying to outline how to hold companies accountable when it comes to keeping consumers' data safe. Both Facebook and YouTube settled with FTC regulators over privacy violations recently, setting off a broader reckoning around data privacy in the era of Big Tech.

Business Roundtable outlined several suggestions on how national privacy should be addressed, including protocol for data breaches and uniform privacy practices for all companies.

"Consumers should not and cannot be expected to understand rules that may change depending upon the state in which they reside ... Now is the time for Congress to act and ensure that consumers are not faced with confusion about their rights and protections based on a patchwork of inconsistent state laws. Further, as the regulatory landscape becomes increasingly fragmented and more complex, U.S. innovation and global competitiveness in the digital economy are threatened."
— Business Roundtable CEOs, in their letter

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The future of privacy starts in California

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A landmark privacy law in California, which kicks in Jan. 1, will give Golden State residents the right to find out what a company knows about them and get it deleted — and to stop the company from selling it.

Why it matters: It could effectively become a national privacy law, since companies that are racing to comply with it may give these privileges to non-Californians, too.

Go deeperArrowSep 30, 2019

Internet Association pushes Congress to pass national privacy law

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The web's trade organization, the Internet Association, became the latest industry group to urge Congress to pass a national privacy law.

Why it matters: Industry organizations, individual companies and consumer groups all say they want privacy legislation. They probably vary in what they would like to see in such legislation, but there could well be room for something that all could get behind.

Go deeperArrowSep 17, 2019

California initiative pushes an even stronger privacy law

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

With impeachment hogging Congress' agenda, no national privacy law is likely to pre-empt California's stringent rules from going into effect next year — and activists in the state are already gearing up to put an even tougher initiative on the state's 2020 ballot.

Why it matters: California's rules often become de facto national standards. Home to Google and Facebook, this is where the tech industry's user-tracking, ad-targeting economy was born, but now it's also where efforts to tame the industry keep sprouting.

Go deeperArrowSep 30, 2019