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With CCPA 6 Months Away, Advertising Industry Pushes for US Privacy Law

by Chris Brook on Monday July 1, 2019

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An advertising trade group told the FTC last week that it supports a nation-wide data privacy standard that will provide enhanced privacy protections to consumers.

With June officially in the books, yet another month is gone as the tech world inches closer to the California Consumer Privacy Act’s implementation date. As time ticks down, the immediacy of the law isn't going unnoticed, especially by entities that have been pushing for a comprehensive national privacy law all along.

Countless groups and think tanks have weighed in on what such a law would look like. A new trade group entered the fray and endorsed it last week.

The Association of National Advertisers, a trade association comprised of over 600 companies and 10,000 brands told that Federal Trade Commission last Thursday that it would support a nation-wide data protection standard, as long as it would “preserve the benefits of the ad-supported economy and maintain healthy business competition.”

In an eight-page letter to the FTC, Dan Jaffe, the Group Executive Vice President for the association’s Government Relations division, said the group is mostly concerned that without a federal data privacy law, the U.S. will be hampered by a patchwork of inconsistent privacy laws, citing California’s impending law, in addition to recent laws in Nevada and New Jersey.

In the letter, the ANA voiced support for the FTC and said that the framework its envisioning would be commandeered by a new Data Protection Bureau within the agency. This bureau the ANA reasons would have specified rulemaking authority, as well as the ability to carry out oversight capabilities and enforcement capacities.

“We support a standard that would delineate proper and improper business behaviors, so consumers are relieved from the need to constantly read and understand privacy policies and opt-in or out of data practices.”

The group used the letter as an opportunity to trumpet the creation of a new platform, Privacy for America, that it hopes will mesh the idea of privacy for consumers with what it calls “data-driven advertising.”

The group submitted its thoughts following the FTC’s request around Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. It's not the first time that the ANA has urged the FTC to pass a federal U.S. privacy law however.

Over the winter the group urged the FTC to push for a new law as well in hopes that any legislation pre-empts the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Back in 2014 the group, alongside other advertising groups, including the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the American Advertising Federation, pushed Congress – specifically Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner - to look at the issues around data breach legislation.

While seemingly all advertising groups are on the same plane, not every one has maintained this stance.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau, yet another advertising business organization, was previously against the idea of privacy legislation, instead arguing that the industry should be able self regulate. The IAB reversed course last fall when it sent a letter (.PDF) to the Senate Commerce Committee stressing that careful and sensible legislation. It doubled down on that idea in February over two consecutive days of testimony before the House and Senate.

In testimony the group said it was "ready to work with Congress to help craft a legislative and regulatory regime that protects consumers, while avoiding the unintended consequences that can result from ill-considered regulatory regimes, notably the erection of barriers to market entry, the erosion of competition, and reinforced advantage for the largest incumbents.”

Tags: Government, Compliance

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Chris Brook

Chris Brook is the editor of Data Insider. He is a technology journalist with a decade of experience writing about information security, hackers, and privacy. Chris has attended many infosec conferences and has interviewed hackers and security researchers. Prior to joining Digital Guardian he helped launch Threatpost, an independent news site which is a leading source of information about IT and business security for hundreds of thousands of professionals worldwide.