Security & Fraud

Big Tech CEOs Petition Congress For Data Privacy Law

Amazon Among CEOs Petitioning For Privacy Laws

An open letter to Congress asking for a consumer data privacy law was signed by 51 CEOs across tech and other industries, CNBC reported on Tuesday (Sept. 10).

Executives from the Business Roundtable said in the letter that putting a federal law in place is important and necessary to protect American consumers while also ensuring that the U.S. continues to lead the competitive global market.

“Our companies reach virtually every American consumer and rely on data and digital platforms every day to deliver and improve our products and services. Consumer trust and confidence are essential to our businesses,” the letter indicated.

“We are committed to protecting consumer privacy and want consumers to have confidence that companies treat their personal information responsibly. We urgently need a comprehensive federal consumer data privacy law to strengthen consumer trust and establish a stable policy environment where new services and technologies can flourish within a well-understood legal and regulatory framework,” the letter said.

Signers of the letter included Visa, Mastercard, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, General Motors, Ford and others.

Missing from the letter was Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has said in the past that he is in favor of a federal privacy law. Google and Facebook were also not part of the letter, although the timing coincides with increasing probes into how Big Tech handles data. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have slapped Google and Facebook with fines over data handling.

“We urgently need a comprehensive federal consumer data privacy law to strengthen consumer trust and establish a stable policy environment in which new services and technologies can flourish within a well-understood legal and regulatory framework,” the CEOs said in the letter. “Innovation thrives under clearly defined and consistently applied rules.”

State attorneys general led by Texas and New York are separately launching official antitrust investigations into Facebook and Google. The AG pool on the antitrust investigation is bipartisan in nature, as have been the panels holding congressional hearings into Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Thursday (Sept. 12) will see a new hearing into technology’s use of data and how that impacts competition and privacy.

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