Senate Commerce Committee Should Consider the Benefits of Data and Advertising

September 25, 2018

The Senate Commerce Committee will hold an important hearing tomorrow entitled “Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy.”

ANA submitted a letter for the record, stating that “it is central to consider the myriad benefits of data and advertising, which fuel economic growth, foster a wide array of affordable media choices that educates the public, and drive innovation and consumer value.”

The Senate Commerce Committee has been a leader on data privacy issues since the advent of the modern internet and we urged the Committee to maintain its careful and thoughtful approach to these issues.

Our letter noted that data and advertising are vitally important to U.S. economic competitiveness. A study led by Professor John Deighton at the Harvard Business School reported that the ad-supported internet ecosystem generated $1.121 trillion for the U.S. economy and was responsible for 10.4 million jobs in the U.S. in 2016. These are very important numbers.

We also discussed the serious problems with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). To fully understand the negative impacts of these laws on consumers and competition, we urged the Committee to instruct the Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to carry out a detailed review of the new laws.

We are very hopeful that Congress will consider a new privacy paradigm that includes strong consumer privacy protections while maintaining our country’s leadership in the digital economy.

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