AAF National Government Report May 2020


May 29, 2020

  • Congressman Supports Local Media
  • Op-Ed Explains Importance of Data
  • Maryland Governor Vetoes Digital Ad Tax
  • Update on ULC Draft Model Privacy Law
  • Another California Privacy Law on the Way?
  • Louisiana Privacy Bill Tabled
  • Lawmakers Introduce Health Privacy Bill
  • AAF to Host Government Affairs Call
Congressman Supports Local Media 

California Representative Adam Schiff (D-28) wrote a letter to AAF President and CEO Steve Pacheco about reports that some advertisers were blocking their advertising next to stories on digital news sites regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Schiff expressed concern that this practice was harming already struggling local news outlets and journalism. Pacheco responded that AAF is very sympathetic with his concerns. Not only is local media an important part of the AAF’s membership base, but a strong local media is important for the dissemination of commercial information in addition to the news.

Op-Ed Explains Importance of Data

AAF EVP-Government Affairs Clark Rector co-authored a recent op-ed that explained the many ways the responsible use of data assists local authorities and companies responding to the many challenges presented by the novel coronavirus. The op-ed goes on to argue for the necessity of a single national standard for the use of data, such as the one proposed by Privacy for America, which would provide strong consumer protection for all U.S. citizens and the assurance companies will not have to comply with multiple differing and inconsistent state laws.

Maryland Governor Vetoes Digital Ad Tax

As anticipated, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) vetoed the digital ad tax passed by the General Assembly. The Assembly is expected to try to override the veto when it returns. Normally, the body would have reconvened in late May but did not because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The next session has not been scheduled and could be delayed until the Fall or next year pending the state of the health crisis. AAF Baltimore, AAF DC and the Maryland/Delaware/District of Columbia Press Association released a joint statement praising the Governor’s action.

Update on ULC Draft Model Privacy Law

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC), is working on a draft Collection and Use of Personally Identifiable Data Act (CUPIDA), which was under consideration for a summer meeting agenda.  That meeting has been cancelled and the group hopes to convene again in the Fall or Winter which would be the first time the proposed legislation could be up for discussion.

As reported last month, AAF and our industry allies have written to the ULC expressing concern with some aspects of and early draft of the CUPIDA. We will watch the group for future scheduled actions and weigh in again as necessary.

Another California Privacy Law on the Way?

A privacy advocacy group in California has reportedly collected more than 900,000 signatures for a ballot initiative to strengthen the state’s privacy law. If enough are certified the measure would be on the ballot in the Fall.

This push for a new California Privacy Rights Act comes before regulations have been finalized to implement the recently enacted California Consumer Privacy Act. Among other provisions, the new initiative would make it even more difficult for companies to use some data for advertising purposes.

In AAF’s view, this initiative is further evidence of the need for a single, national standard as is advocated by Privacy for America.

Louisiana Privacy Bill Tabled

Like policymakers in many other states, a Louisiana state lawmaker introduced legislation to place limitations on the use of information for marketing and advertising minus a resident’s consent. While the advertising industry supports strong privacy protections for all consumers, the restrictions in this bill are unclear and unreasonable. AAF and our sister associations wrote to legislative leaders explaining our opposition to the measure. The bill was considered and not moved forward at a May 11, meeting of the Louisiana House Commerce Committee.

Lawmakers Introduce Health Privacy Bill

Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) introduced the Public Health Emergency Privacy Act to set strong and enforceable privacy and data security rights for health information used during the pandemic. The bill would require Americans to consent to participate in these efforts, and would prohibit any data collected to address the health crisis from use for other purposes such as advertising.

AAF to Host Government Affairs Call

On Thursday, June 4, at 1:00 PM Eastern time, AAF Government Affairs Committee Chair Carla Michelotti and AAF’s EVP, Government Affairs, Clark Rector will host an online meeting of the Committee. The agenda will include a brief update on current legislative issues, self-regulatory matters and AAF grassroots initiatives as well as a discussion of local priorities and activities.

Any AAF member interested in participating in call can contact Clark Rector at crector@aaf.or



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