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Tech Companies Working With Policy Makers on Privacy Legislation

Tech Companies Working With Policy Makers on Privacy Legislation
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By    |   Monday, 06 August 2018 09:03 AM EDT

Tech companies in the United States are working with policy makers on new federal privacy rules, aiming to get ahead of fallout over their handling of consumers’ personal data, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The industry has fended off federal actions on privacy for years, but now the actions of the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Salesforce.com, signal a shift in the industry’s viewpoint, said Karen Zacharia, chief privacy officer at Verizon Communications Inc.

“I really think the time is now… we need to go forward and do it,” Zacharia said at a Brookings Institution conference in July, The Journal reported.

The tech industry is “recognizing that doing nothing is not an option,” said Christopher Padilla, an IBM vice president. “Business is playing a more active role in the dialogue. That’s crucial because if we don’t do something in collaboration with the government, none of us will like what’s done to us."

“From my perspective, it appears industry is trying to find a unified position, which I strongly encourage,” said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.

Talks among industry representatives, Trump administration officials, and lawmakers will include features that politically powerful tech companies are calling for, and would almost certainly forestall attempts at state regulations, The Journal report said.

New legislation would likely be less stringent than California law, the Journal report said. Businesses panned that legislation because it could put customer-loyalty programs and data gathering at risk, The Journal reported in July. 

Because of opposition from Republicans and many in the industry, rules probably would allow few opportunities for consumers to file private lawsuits over privacy violations – but that could change if Democrats win a majority in either the House or Senate in the midterm elections, the report said.

While federal legislation is not guaranteed, tech firms aim to be part of the discussion. “I think they feel a sense of urgency that they have not felt in the past,” one person involved said of the tech firms, The Journal reported.

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Politics
Tech companies in the United States are working with policy makers on new federal privacy rules, aiming to get ahead of fallout over their handling of consumers' personal data.
tech, companies, washington, privacy, legislation
340
2018-03-06
Monday, 06 August 2018 09:03 AM
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