TR Daily House Bipartisan E&C Privacy Draft Leaves Preemption Unresolved
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

House Bipartisan E&C Privacy Draft Leaves Preemption Unresolved

The House Energy and Commerce Committee staff circulated a bipartisan staff discussion draft of comprehensive federal privacy legislation today, with some issues—such as preemption of state privacy laws and right of private action—left unresolved, represented by placeholder section numbers.

The discussion draft’s relation to the Communications Act is also left undefined, and a section on “the sense of Congress” is left empty.

The discussion draft would establish certain privacy rights for individuals, such as the rights to access, correct, and delete data collected about them and to withdraw consent for the processing of their data.

It would require entities above threshold levels of annual revenues or number of consumers for whom data is collected to file annual “detailed and granular” reports with the Federal Trade Commission about their privacy policy and practices, including how they enable individuals to exercise their privacy rights. It brackets tentative thresholds of $250 million in annual revenues and 10 million affected individuals.

It would provide for self-regulation by smaller entities under guidelines to be proposed to and approved by the FTC.

It would call for the establishment of a new Bureau of Privacy at the FTC.

It would provide for enforcement by the FTC and by state attorneys general.

A spokesman for the committee’s Democratic majority said, “This draft seeks to protect consumers while also giving data collectors clear rules of the road. It reflects many months of hard work and close collaboration between Democratic and Republican Committee staff. We welcome input from all interested stakeholders and look forward to working with them going forward.”

The Internet Innovation Alliance issued a statement applauding committee staffers “for digging-in on the important issue of privacy in a serious, bipartisan fashion. Comprehensive, preemptive federal privacy legislation is a critical priority for consumers, entrepreneurs and innovators, and we are pleased to see the Committee giving it the thought and effort it deserves. We look forward to reviewing the details of the proposed legislation but are very encouraged to see a unified effort consistent with the Committee’s long history of bipartisan, consensus-based legislating.” —Lynn Stanton, [email protected]

MainStory: FederalNews Congress Privacy

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