The Insights Association has worked throughout July and August to improve a comprehensive federal privacy bill that passed out of committee in the U.S. House, counter a harmful bill in Delaware, and urge changes to California’s pending state privacy regulations. Also, IA’s campaign for transparency in the Census Bureau’s Ask U.S. Panel project, which would compete against the insights industry, has spurred Congressional action.
Consumer Privacy & Data Security
The House Energy & Commerce Committee approved bipartisan comprehensive federal consumer privacy legislation on July 20, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), incorporating a variety of changes of import to the insights industry. In particular, the committee clarified that participant incentives for research subjects would be allowed under the ADPPA and adopted a definition of market research that we worked on with Privacy for America. Further, multiple parts of the bill were clarified to allow the continued use of independent audience measurement.
IA and Privacy for America had also helped with a variety of improvements in the prior bill draft, which passed subcommittee in June.
The Insights Association continues to advocate, along with Privacy for America, for a comprehensive consumer data privacy bill setting a strong national baseline privacy protection for consumers that would still allow for the vigorous delivery of insights. Unfortunately, the ADPPA is still far from achieving that goal in some functional details, but also in big picture aspects like how it would be enforced and the extent to which it would preempt conflicting state laws.
Despite the U.S. House advancements, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just launched a broad rulemaking process on "commercial surveillance" that could duplicate and conflict with the ADPPA while roping in most aspects of insights work.
Instead of engaging on comprehensive consumer data privacy like its U.S. House counterpart, a Senate committee passed a pair of bills in July focused on minors’ privacy that would pose thorny complications for the insights industry.
IA also looked at a variety of other federal privacy/security-focused legislation, such as:
IA was pleased to see a Delaware bill die at the end of that state’s legislative session that would have otherwise instituted a data broker registry and restrict data brokers’ behavior (with many insights companies being captured pejoratively as data brokers).
On the data security side, new proposed rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would require publicly-traded companies to report breaches within four days, among other issues, while a new law in Arizona came into effect expanding that state’s breach notification requirements.
Finally, the Insights Association filed comments with the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA), urging the regulator to treat audience measurement as a business purpose, limit the compliance requirements for opt-out signals, and otherwise limit the negative impact of proposed California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) regulations on the insights industry. Other business groups covered some similar ground, while also urging delayed enforcement of the rules.
The Senate Appropriations Committee now wants a detailed report from the U.S. Census Bureau about the Ask U.S. Panel, which aims to create a probability-based nationwide representative survey panel for tracking public opinion. The Insights Association continues to warn that the “project could waste millions of taxpayer dollars in a vain attempt to compete with existing online research panel providers, instead of simply purchasing those services on the open market for a fraction of the cost.”
Transparency demanded by the House and Senate about the Ask U.S. Panel project won’t have the force of law until Congress approves a final funding package for the fiscal year, which likely will not happen until after the November elections, so IA will continue to advocate for transparency in the meantime.
On separate census issues, a House committee passed census reform legislation purporting to “enhance the independence and transparency of the Census Bureau” and “safeguard” the Census Bureau from “undue” political influence. Unlike a prior effort that IA supported years ago, the bill would not make the Bureau an independent agency, but instead attempt to insulate it from executive authority.
Your Support = Essential
The Insights Association can only make the case for the insights industry on these and other important public policy issues across the U.S. with YOUR support.
In a world of turmoil, IA’s members and sponsors provide the resources necessary to defend and advance the whole industry.
We remain available to answer your questions on these and other legislative/regulatory/legal issues. Please stay in touch.
Also, you may have noticed that our new website continues to evolve and articles have migrated to new locations. Please bear with us as we bring over more content from the old website and continue to improve the new one and reach out if you encounter trouble finding certain content. (Of course, remember that most of it is members-only and you will need to be logged in to see it.)
This information is not intended and should not be construed as or substituted for legal advice. It is provided for informational purposes only. It is advisable to consult with private counsel on the precise scope and interpretation of any laws/regulation/legislation and their impact on your particular business.