Tech Industry Offers Privacy “Grand Bargain” Which Critics Claim Offers Little Protection

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a think tank supported by Google, Amazon and Facebook released a report calling for a “Grand Bargain” on a federal privacy law that it describes as

a bold new privacy framework that expands and simplifies consumer data privacy rights, reduces compliance costs from existing state and federal regulations, and paves the way for more data-driven innovation.

The “grand bargain” would continue existing opt-out consent requirements, except for critical services collecting sensitive personal data.  It rejects the notion of “privacy by design” as well as data-minimization/data retention limitations and the right to be forgotten that is found in European law.  In addition, it also rejects any private right of action to remedy violations.

ITIF’s “grand bargain” would also preempt state laws such as California’s Consumer Privacy Act and replace all existing federal privacy laws including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

The proposal yielded a stinging rebuke from Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) who stated :

If Big Tech thinks this is a reasonable framework for privacy legislation, they should be embarrassed.  This proposal would protect no one – it is only a grand bargain for the companies who regularly exploit consumer data for private gain and seek to evade transparency and accountability.

Big tech cannot be trusted to write its own rules – a reality this proposal only underscores.  I look forward to rolling out bipartisan privacy legislation that does in fact ‘maximize consumer privacy,’ and puts consumers first.

The ITIF’s “grand bargain” one-pager is below.

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