Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The administration has tasked the Department of Commerce with looking at privacy. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Tech’s Washington representatives are working to shape the Department of Commerce’s approach to privacy, with comments flowing into the agency last week ahead of a key deadline.

The big picture: From the halls of Congress to federal agencies to state houses, lobbying battles are raging as companies, trade groups, and their critics seek to influence how America regulates consumer data collection and its use.

Flashback: The administration initiated its look at privacy as new rules in Europe and California put pressure on U.S. policymakers to articulate how they think data should be gathered, used and secured. Industry also fears a patchwork of state regulations, hoping federal rules could be used to preempt them ahead of the California law’s 2020 effective date.

Big Tech weighed in, as did other corporate players.

  • The Internet Association and ITI, both of which represent Facebook and Google, submitted comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s comment process on privacy, repeating their calls for a federal privacy standard.
  • “We believe the way to achieve this is through a model that balances the various interests at play while being uncompromising in the protection afforded to individuals,” said ITI in its comments.
  • "A comprehensive and technology-neutral legal framework for online privacy that applies to all entities in the internet ecosystem will not only help instill consumer confidence but also enable businesses and consumers to take full advantage of the possibilities presented by technological advances,” said Charter Communications in its comments, as one of the several internet service providers that has called for national privacy regulation. Big telecom players are looking, in some cases, to break into the content and ad businesses.

So did the critics of web platforms.

  • Digital Content Next, which represents publishers and is a vocal critic of Facebook and Google, said that the rules should “avoid solidifying the dominance” of the web platforms. “Companies that dominate the digital landscape and have the ability to track consumers on virtually every site or app they visit are in a unique and privileged position,” the organization said. “In the case of this kind of ubiquitous data collection by a single entity, there should be a higher bar.”

What’s next? The end result of the privacy comment process at the Department of Commerce may be to influence federal legislation.

  • “We have already indicated that there’s a willingness absolutely within the White House to work with Congress on privacy legislation,” Gail Slater, a top tech staffer for the National Economic Council, said at a Washington Post event last week.
  • But Slater added, “It’s not a completely blank hall pass. We will expect to see certain parameters in that legislation.”

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes on the Senate runoffs

The future of U.S. politics, and all that flows from it, is in the hands of Georgia voters when they vote in two Senate runoffs on January 5.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the election dynamics with former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat who served between 1999 and 2003.

2 hours ago - Health

Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that struggling state hospital systems must transfer patients to sites that are not nearing capacity, as rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations strain medical resources.

Why it matters: New York does not expect to get the same kind of help from thousands of out-of-state doctors and nurses that it got this spring, Cuomo acknowledged, as most of the country battles skyrocketing COVID hospitalizations and infections.

Arizona certifies Biden's win

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Arizona officials certified the state's presidential election results on Monday, paving the way for President-elect Joe Biden to be awarded its 11 electoral votes.

Why it matters: The move deals yet another blow to President Trump's efforts to block or delay certification in key swing states that he lost. Biden beat the president in Arizona by more than 10,000 votes.