What Others Are Saying: The American Privacy Rights Act – U.S. Senate Committee…

Privacy leaders, tech organizations, broadcasters, health care leaders and more are welcoming the bipartisan American Privacy Rights Act by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, and U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Chair Rodgers led a hearing on Wednesday on the legislation, which received high praise from witnesses and members of the Committee from both sides of the aisle.

“This bipartisan, bicameral draft legislation is the best opportunity we’ve had in decades to establish a national data privacy and security standard that gives people the right to control their personal information,” Chairs Cantwell and Rodgers said when the bill was unveiled. “This landmark legislation represents the sum of years of good faith efforts in both the House and Senate. It strikes a meaningful balance on issues that are critical to moving comprehensive data privacy legislation through Congress. Americans deserve the right to control their data and we’re hopeful that our colleagues in the House and Senate will join us in getting this legislation signed into law.”

This comprehensive draft legislation sets clear national data privacy rights and protections for Americans, eliminates the existing patchwork of state comprehensive data privacy laws and establishes robust enforcement mechanisms to hold violators accountable, including a private right of action for individuals. Read more about how the American Privacy Rights Act will protect you.

Kara Frederick, Director, Tech Policy Center, The Heritage Foundation, in her testimony before the House E&C Committee“I submit that the incentives of private companies to blow past fines, forgo privacy enhancing technologies and age verification, and recruit kids would be curtailed if we had a national data protection framework. Such a privacy regime would insulate all Americans, young and old, from the worst to come. The American Privacy Rights Act does this. These policies put Americans back in charge of their data and reduce incentives to abuse the American consumer and our kids. Most importantly, they have the teeth to put big tech and enemy-controlled platforms like TikTok on notice.”

Samir Jain, Vice President of Policy, Center for Democracy and Technology, in his written testimony before the House E&C Committee“[T]he American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) that we will be discussing today builds on that prior work—on both a bipartisan and bicameral basis—and presents a renewed opportunity to finish the long overdue job of passing a federal privacy law. A baseline set of privacy protections for all would in turn provide both a context in which to also include further protections for kids and a necessary foundation for addressing artificial intelligence (AI)… APRA builds on the many prior privacy bills from both parties and includes critical elements necessary for an effective privacy law: data minimization, effective consumer rights, prohibition of discrimination, restrictions on data brokers, requirements for data security, and an enforcement regime with complementary roles for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state Attorneys General, and individuals…CDT is encouraged by the release of the bipartisan and bicameral draft of APRA, and thanks this Committee for its bipartisan work to consider and advance comprehensive privacy legislation. The time for a comprehensive federal privacy law is long overdue.”

Katherine Kuehn, Member, Board of Directors and CISO-in-Residence, National Technology Security Coalition, in her written testimony before the House E&C Committee“The National Technology Security Coalition supports the American Privacy Rights Act of 2024 as it marks a significant improvement in the landscape of consumer privacy protections in the United States. By replacing the existing patchwork of state laws with a cohesive federal standard, APRA promises to provide uniform, robust privacy rights to all Americans. The APRA not only enhances consumer protections but also simplifies compliance for businesses, prevents a dilution of privacy standards, and strengthens the U.S. position in the global digital economy. Adopting the APRA would signify a major step forward in aligning the United States with global best practices for data privacy and securing the trust and confidence of American consumers.”

Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President, Microsoft“Consumers and business across the United States have long deserved clear, strong, and comprehensive privacy protections. The privacy bill unveiled by Chairs Cantwell and McMorris Rodgers is a good deal. Their willingness to work across party lines on an issue of common cause has led to a bill that would give all consumers in the U.S. robust rights and protections. It would also provide clarity by establishing a national standard. We applaud Senator Maria Cantwell and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers for their bipartisan leadership, support their efforts to pass a comprehensive federal privacy law, and look forward to working with the committees as the bill moves forward.”

Julie Brill, Chief Privacy Officer and Corporate Vice President, Microsoft“The U.S. has long deserved to join the rest of the world in establishing comprehensive privacy legislation. We applaud Senator Cantwell and Representative McMorris Rodgers for their bi-partisan efforts to introduce a comprehensive federal privacy bill.”

Curtis LeGeyt, CEO, National Association of Broadcasters“NAB supports the bipartisan efforts of Chairs Maria Cantwell and Cathy McMorris Rodgers to craft a unified national privacy standard. This discussion draft is an important step towards much-needed legal clarity for America’s hometown broadcasters amidst a patchwork of state laws as we engage with our audiences online. As the power of the Big Tech companies often goes unchecked, we are grateful for Chairs Cantwell and McMorris Rodgers’ ongoing commitment to providing a more sustainable digital ecosystem for local journalism. We look forward to working closely with the Chairs and all their Congressional colleagues as this important discussion continues.”

Danielle Coffey, CEO, News/Media Alliance“The discussions prompted by the American Privacy Rights Act of 2024 draft come at a critical time for technology policy, and the draft proposes new approaches to long-standing issues. The discussion draft rightfully acknowledges the heightened, often troubling, impact that large technology companies can have in how they use consumers’ data and raises the importance of advertising in sustaining services that benefit consumers, including ad-supported news media content. We look forward to engaging in these critical discussions with the sponsors to ensure that Americans continue to have access to high-quality journalism.”

Gary Shapiro, CEO, Consumer Technology Association“The Consumer Technology Association appreciates this bipartisan, bicameral effort to pass a federal data privacy law to protect consumers’ personal information. CTA has long advocated that a uniform federal privacy law is needed for innovation to thrive and American leadership in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. We support a national privacy standard that preempts state laws, providing legal clarity for companies to operate and consistent protections across state borders for consumers. We look forward to working on this effort with the Senate Commerce and House Energy & Commerce committees.”

Michael Powell, President and CEO, NCTA – The Internet and Television Association”In today’s digital age where our lives increasingly unfold online, it’s crucial that consumers have confidence that their personal data will be kept secure and used in line with reasonable expectations. We welcome the arrival of the American Privacy Rights Act, a new bipartisan privacy draft released by House and Senate Commerce Committee Chairs McMorris Rodgers and Cantwell and the efforts being made to bridge past divides that have slowed our progress. It is important that a streamlined national privacy standard balances robust consumer protections with the practical needs of the online ecosystem. We look forward to working with the Chairs, Ranking Members and all in Congress as this bill progresses.”

Meredith Attwell Baker, President and CEO, CTIA“The wireless industry thanks Chairs McMorris Rodgers and Cantwell for their bipartisan work and commitment to establishing comprehensive federal privacy legislation. A state-by-state approach does not give consumers the protections they deserve and threatens marketplace innovation and investment. The draft takes positive steps forward to eliminate this unwieldy patchwork, and we look forward to continuing to work on the bill with the Chairs, their staffs and the committees to ensure we can safeguard Americans’ online data with a permanent, enforceable and balanced national privacy framework that fosters innovation and growth across the country.”

Brandon Pugh, Director and Senior Fellow, Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats, R Street“We appreciate Congress’ continued interest in passing a comprehensive federal data privacy and security law on a bipartisan, bicameral basis. We’re particularly pleased by the steadfast leadership of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Senator Maria Cantwell, as most recently seen through the release of their American Privacy Rights Act of 2024 (APRA) discussion draft…We believe a comprehensive federal data privacy and security law would benefit consumers, industry, and security. We look forward to continuing to work with the sponsors and any member interested in the discussion draft, but we believe it is a positive step forward for several reasons.”

Nick Penniman, Founder and CEO, Issue One“Sen. Cantwell and Rep. McMorris-Rodgers worked together to advance a goal that lawmakers and Americans across the political spectrum agree is long-overdue — putting people in control of their personal information by establishing a national standard for data privacy and security. Unchecked extractive data practices have taken away Americans’ rights as digital citizens and fueled widespread harms in the digital age, from manipulative content directed at minors to turbocharged false information that is exacerbating political and societal polarization. Ending these practices is a critical step in fixing the broken information environment and for the future health of our democracy. The APRA is a major step toward making that goal a reality.”

Katie Mahoney, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Healthcare Leadership Council“This legislation is a significant bicameral bipartisan breakthrough; we applaud Chairwoman Cantwell and Chairwoman McMorris Rodgers for their bold leadership. The currency of our nation’s healthcare system is the data that is so critical to understanding patient health history and to identifying timely, often life-saving, care and treatment. The Healthcare Leadership Council, which represents leaders from across the diverse spectrum of our industry, has long advocated for a uniform national privacy standard to enable companies to operate efficiently on a nationwide scale. We welcome this bipartisan discussion draft and look forward to providing comments.”

Chris Mohr, President, Software Information and Industry Association“We are encouraged by the release of the bipartisan and bicameral American Privacy Rights Act of 2024 (the Act) discussion draft. This is a thoughtful draft and a positive step towards a comprehensive federal privacy legislation. The draft indicates that Chairs Cantwell and McMorris Rodgers listened carefully to various stakeholders.”

Jason Oxman, CEO, Information Technology Industry Council“The technology sector shares Chairwoman Cantwell and Chairwoman McMorris Rodger’s goal of enacting comprehensive federal privacy legislation, which is essential for continued U.S. economic competitiveness. ITI has long called for a privacy bill that creates a uniform national standard for consumer protection, clearly defined responsibilities for companies that collect and process data, and appropriately tailored enforcement. We appreciate the bipartisan, bicameral leadership advancing the privacy conversation on Capitol Hill and look forward to reviewing the bill and constructively engaging with the U.S. Congress as it moves forward.”

Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel, NetChoice“NetChoice is encouraged to see that Congress is putting a national privacy standard back on its agenda, and we applaud Chair Rodgers and Cantwell’s leadership on this issue. We look forward to engaging with Members in both chambers to ensure the legislation gets privacy protections right for all Americans and isn’t overly burdensome on small businesses trying to compete in the digital marketplace. This is a good step to put essential conversations about a U.S. national privacy standard back on the table.”

Laura Chadwick, President and CEO, Travel Technology Association“A national data privacy standard will provide clarity and consistency for companies and consumers, improving compliance and leading to greater protection for travelers. Most travel companies by their very nature – from hotels to airlines to online travel agents and travel management companies – manage consumer data and could be impacted by such a law. We look forward to working with Members of Congress who are engaged in pushing forward a national standard.”

David Morar, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Technology Institute“We are pleased that this bill has reinvigorated public discussion about protecting Americans’ fundamental right to privacy and heartened to see the two Chairs of the House and Senate Commerce Committees take such a significant first step. The American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) is broadly based on the American Data Privacy and Protection Act of 2022 (ADPPA). Like the ADPPA, the APRA includes the necessary pillars of sound privacy legislation—strong data minimization principles; online civil rights protections; universal opt outs; a private right of action; and privacy rights, like users’ ability to view, correct, export, or delete their data and stop its sale or transfer.”

David Brody, Managing Attorney of the Digital Justice Initiative, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in his written testimony before the House E&C Committee“[We] are encouraged by the new American Privacy Rights Act (APRA), a bipartisan and bicameral effort to safeguard data privacy and civil rights online. Passing comprehensive privacy legislation would be a major advancement for the public good. I would like to thank Chair McMorris Rodgers and Senator Cantwell for producing this impressive achievement.”

“Their efforts are the best chance at the federal level to give consumers rights over the use of their personal data and limit what companies can collect and do with it — a cause with many backers on Capitol Hill.”