AAF Government Report | October 2023

October 2023

Digital Advertising Taxes

The District of Columbia Tax Revision Commission has before it a proposal to extend the District’s sales tax to digital advertising services and the use of data. AAF and AAF-DC have sent a letter to the Commission explaining why such a proposal is bad public policy and the negative impact it would have on DC businesses.

The Commission does not have the power to enact new taxes. It is an independent body that will provide recommendations to the DC City Council and Mayor which could then adopt, reject or revise the recommendations. The Commission has before it at least 75 tax proposals. Final recommendations will be made by the end of 2023.

State Privacy Update

Despite appeals to lawmakers and the Governor from AAF, our local members and industry allies, the California Legislature passed and Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 362 which we believe places undue restrictions on data brokers and reasonable uses of data for commercial purposes.

We are concerned that the adverse consequences of the new law will be many, including

  • Severely limiting the widespread availability of free and low-cost Internet offerings to Californians,
  • Impeding new and small businesses from reaching audiences for their products and services,
  • Providing no safeguards to prevent authorized agents from abusing their role in the system, and
  • Thwarting data brokers’ ability to provide vital anti-fraud services to the California government as well as other businesses.

AAF will work with allies and other interested partners to find ways through the legislative and/or regulatory process to minimize the damaging effect of the new law on consumers and businesses.

Lawmakers in other states continue to consider privacy laws. AAF recently communicated with legislators in Maine expressing our concerns with LD 1977 the Data Privacy and Protection Act. We have also written to Massachusetts lawmakers regarding S.227/H.60, the Information Privacy and Security Act and S.25/H.83 the Data Privacy Protection Act.

Federal Privacy

AAF continues to believe that the best solution for consumers and businesses nationwide would be the enactment of a comprehensive federal privacy law. We continue to work with our partners in Privacy for America to encourage Congress to pass such a law. While the issue has been frustratingly stalled in Congress, there are signs the logjam could soon break. For example, at a recent hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee many lawmakers expressed support for enacting data privacy legislation as a first step to addressing the risk of artificial intelligence.

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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