AAF National Government Report May/June 2022

june 17, 2022
privacy—the focus of federal and state lawmakers
Privacy issues continue to draw the attention of lawmakers at both the state and federal level.

Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr., D-NJ and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA and Senator Roger Wicker, R-MS released a discussion draft of a comprehensive national data privacy and data security framework. This is significant as these are three of the four major players in Congress with jurisdiction over privacy issues. Pallone is Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and McMorris Rodgers is the senior Republican. Senator Wicker is senior Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee. Only Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell, D-WA is missing from the draft.

The Energy and Commerce Committee conducted a June 14 hearing to examine the legislation. While AAF is supportive of a national privacy law and is encouraged to see Congressional attention being paid to the issue, we are concerned that this proposal is significantly flawed. We are in agreement with the Privacy for America statement that “by requiring restrictive opt-in policies for non-sensitive data, draft legislation released this month falls short in terms of preserving responsible data use that allows businesses of all sizes to advertise to consumers products and services they might be interested in, the lifeblood of growth in the American economy.”

AAF Executive Vice President-Government Affairs Clark Rector has participated in industry meetings with Hill staff to express concerns about the proposed law. AAF will continue to work with federal lawmakers and our allies in Privacy for America in support of federal privacy legislation that allows the responsible use of data to benefit consumers, businesses and the American economy.

While Congress debates, many state legislatures are looking at enacting privacy laws. As a supporter of federal legislation, AAF opposes state privacy proposals believing that a patchwork of inconsistent state laws would be detrimental to consumers and businesses. However, we have often provided comments to legislators in the interest of harmonizing the state proposals as much as possible.

We were recently joined by AAF-Baton RougeAAF-New OrleansAAF-Northeast LouisianaAAF Shreveport-BossierAAF District 7 and AAF District 10 on a letter to lawmakers about privacy legislation in the Louisiana legislature. The legislative session ended on June 6.

We were joined on a similar letter regarding privacy legislation in the Pennsylvania General Assembly lawmakers by AAF-Greater Lehigh ValleyAAF-PittsburghAd 2 Pittsburgh and AAF District 2. The measure is not currently scheduled for action.

AAF has provided comments to the Oregon Consumer Privacy Task Force which is working to draft a proposed comprehensive privacy law in conjunction with the Oregon Attorney General’s office draft in Oregon. Timing and prospects for the project remain uncertain.

On May 4, AAF Executive Vice President-Government Affairs Clark Rector testified virtually before the California Privacy Protection Agency urging the agency to keep in mind the limited resources of smaller businesses and their good faith ability to comply with any proposed regulations implementing the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 and the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020.

The Agency has recently released proposed regulations. Unfortunately, an initial review reveals that the proposed regulations go beyond or directly contradict what the law requires. AAF will join in providing a response to the Agency.

ftc commissioner confirmed
In May, the Senate confirmed law professor Alvaro Bedoya to serve as the fifth Commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission. The confirmation breaks a months long partisan deadlock and gives Democrats a three to two majority of Commissioners. Bedoya is the founder of Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology and is expected to be an ally of FTC Chair Lina Khan who has signaled her desire to bring more aggressive cases against tech companies and perhaps pursue new regulations governing privacy and competition in the digital economy.
ftc looking to update industry guides
The FTC has asked for public comment on Updated Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The Commission is particularly concerned about social media platforms and inadequate disclosure tools regarding fake or manipulated reviews and the compensation of influencers.

The Agency has also issued a request for information on a comprehensive update of guidance regarding digital advertising. It’s initial publication .com Disclosures, How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising was published in 2000 and last updated in 2013. The Commission has stated “it’s time for a start-to-finish reboot, given the major changes in advertising tactics and techniques that marketers use.”

The AAF protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities. Our nation-wide network monitors advertising-related legislation on local, state and federal levels. We put our members face-to-face with influential lawmakers while encouraging self-regulation as a preemptor to government intervention, when appropriate of course. To learn more about our advocacy efforts, click here.
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