U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has emerged as an unmistakable champion for the working and middle class.
Time and time again, he has fought monopolistic corporate interests from rigging the free marketplace for their personal profit.
Unlike many members of Congress, he doesn’t care much about campaign contributions.
What he does care about is standing up for the forgotten men and women that he’s pledged to protect.
Now, Jordan has moved onto fighting Big Auto.
Big Auto doesn’t want customers to repair their cars anywhere but in their dealerships.
They are making using their parts and repair centers a condition for maintaining their car warrantees. As a result, car repair costs have skyrocketed by over 23% — four times higher than inflation.
This is a captive marketplace, not a free marketplace.
Jordan knows it.
That’s why, on Tuesday, July 18, he’s having the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet hold a hearing on the bipartisan SMART (H.R. 1707) and REPAIR (H.R. 906) Acts, which Congress designed to ensure drivers retain the right to shop around in the automotive industry.
Given that over half the country current can’t afford an out of pocket, unexpected $1,000 expense, the benefits of Jordan’s leadership on this issue can’t be overstated.
He doesn’t care that the automakers are willing to make it rain on him; he doesn’t care that moving these bills could lead to less campaign cash for his re-election campaign.
He just wants to ensure his constituents aren’t prevented from reaping the rewards of a free marketplace.
If that’s not public service, this writer doesn't know what is.
Big Auto isn’t just bleeding its consumers by holding them hostage and charging them monopolistic prices on car repairs, it's also making billions by collecting (and selling) their critical and sensitive data — a clear violation of consumers' privacy.
Modern cars are essentially computers on wheels, and "connected" cars like autonomous vehicles constantly and instantaneously collect information in real-time.
Sensors, cameras, and computers inside and outside of a vehicle aggregate everything from audio recordings, diagnostic readings from vehicle parts, location pins, and musical and entertainment selections.
Of course, there’s a lot of money to be made here. One analyst projects all this data will be worth $750 billion by 2030.
The question is whose money should this be?
According to the car companies, it should be theirs and they should be able to do whatever they want with the data. They can sell it. They can share it.
They can market to it, and many of these companies are quickly transforming themselves into high-tech data companies to do so.
This might make sense from the "make your consumers bleed at all costs" school of thought, but it doesn’t from the standpoint of those who believe in the Fifth Amendment and private property rights.
Consumers are the ones generating this data. The sensitive information pertains to them, not Big Auto. So it should be their data for the taking.
In an era where personal data is a valuable resource and privacy concerns are paramount, granting personal data the status of a property right would not only fend off Big Auto's monopolistic stranglehold, it would also strengthen the legal framework for privacy protections, providing individuals with a stronger basis to assert their rights in the face of data breaches, surveillance, and unauthorized data collection.
Yet, as of today, consumers have little, if any, protections.
This has allowed Big Auto to continue sucking them dry, with little regard for their rights
In March, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the American Data Privacy and Protection Act by a 53 to 2 margin, but . . . it hasn’t yet received a vote from the full chamber.
Committee Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, R-Wash., has pledged to develop a "strong national data privacy standard will mean in our everyday lives to rein in Big Tech, protect kids online, and put people in charge of their data."
At the same time, however, her committee is promoting the adoption of autonomous vehicles without protecting consumers’ data first.
This makes no sense.
In an era where corporate power often precedes consumer rights, Chairman Jim Jordan's unwavering commitment to holding auto companies accountable and championing the cause of the working and middle classes is commendable.
He's empowering his constituents to use the free market to their advantage, promoting a fair marketplace, one that genuinely benefits consumers, small businesses, and the economy at large.
While it's great to have champions like Jordan protecting consumer choice and freedom, we also need leaders of other committees to stand up to corporate giants’ data grabs with the same vigilance.
Is Cathy McMorris Rogers up to the task?
Or, are they faint of heart?
Only time will tell.
Julio Rivera is a small business consultant, political activist, writer, and editorial director. He has been a regular contributor to Newsmax since 2016, on both its web pages and television network. His commentary has also appeared in The Hill, The Washington Times, The Washington Examiner, American Thinker, The Toronto Sun, and more. Read Julio Rivera's Reports — More Here.
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