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April 25, 2019 Government Relations News

April 25, 2019
  • California Consumer Privacy Act Update
  • Washington, Texas Consider New Privacy Bills
  • FTC Examines Privacy Issues
  • AAF Supports a New Paradigm for Privacy
  • Advertising Deductibility to Pay For Extenders?
  • Billboard Caps Tables in Louisiana
  • AAF Advertising Day on the Hill a Big Success
 
California Consumer Privacy Act Update

California regulators in the state Attorney General’s office continue their efforts to make the Californian Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) ready for implementation by the January 1, 2020 deadline. As previously reported, AAF has written to the AG with our concerns and AAF Sacramento president Heather Smith and District 14 Governor Christopher Terrazas each testified at the February 5 forum in Sacramento to explain the impact the new law could have on smaller businesses in the state.

Underscoring our concerns about possible unintended consequences of the CCPA, Peter Feldman, Commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has written to the Attorney General and key legislators about the likely negative impact the CCPA’s “Right to Delete” provision would have on the ability of retailers, manufacturers and others to conduct efficient recalls of hazardous consumer products.

Simultaneously, state lawmakers are introducing legislation to amend the CPPA. 

Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee Chairman Ed Chau has introduced a billregulating data brokers that is in some parts duplicative of CCPA and in other parts contradicts the CCPA. AAF and our industry allies have written Chairman Chau expressing our opposition to the bill.

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson has introduced legislation which would provide a Private Right of Action for consumers under the CCPA. This bill would allow individual consumers to sue companies for violations of the CCPA, even if there is no showing of harm. AAF believes this could subject companies to a torrent of unwarranted lawsuits with no corresponding consumer benefit. We have written to Senator Jackson with our concerns.

 
Washington, Texas Consider New Privacy Bills

Other states, including Texas and Washington are also considering comprehensive privacy legislation. AAF has written to lawmakers in Texas and alerted our clubs in the state about the bill. We have also expressed our opposition to the Washington proposal to key lawmakers in that state.

 
FTC Examines Privacy Issues

On April 9 and 10 the Federal Trade Commission conducted hearings on The FTC’s Approach to Consumer Privacy. Speakers included representatives of industry, consumer groups, former regulators and legal experts. The panels examined topics such as Goals of Privacy Protection, The Data Risk Spectrum, Consumer Demand and Expectations for Privacy, Current Approaches to Privacy, Role of Notice and Choice, Role of Access, Deletion, and Correction, Accountability and Is the FTC’s Current Toolkit Adequate?

All of these subjects have been well-examined before, and as would be expected from a wide assortment of panelists there was a broad diversity of viewpoints. There were, however, areas of broad agreement.  Participants agreed that FTC regulations and enforcement actions should have the goals of protecting consumers from harm, insure that consumers have transparency and choice and promote competition and innovation in the industry. 

Nearly all speakers agreed that federal legislation is needed to provide baseline privacy protection. As could be expected, there was less agreement on exactly what the baseline should be or whether states should have the right to pass even stricter laws.

Finally, there was a near universal view that the FTC is understaffed and operating on a budget much lower than in previous years. All agreed that Congress should provide the agency with more resources and tools.

 
AAF Supports a New Paradigm for Privacy

As reported in January, and as was agreed to at the FTC hearings, AAF is supportive of the enactment of a national privacy standard, a so-called New Paradigm for privacy. In December, we joined in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission supporting the concept.

AAF has been participating in meetings with many allied associations and companies to flesh out the specifics of what a national privacy law might look like. In general, AAF and our allies support legislation that would:

  • Protect consumers nationwide
  • Establish new prohibitions on certain data practices, including eligibility, discrimination, assisting and facilitating fraud, and sensitive data
  • Create a New Data Protection Bureau at the Federal Trade Commission
  • Grant enhanced rulemaking authority to the FTC
  • Ensure responsible advertising practices
  • Require strong data security protections, and
  • Authorize strict penalties for violations.

AAF will continue to work with our industry members and partners to advocate for a strong national privacy law that protects both consumers and industry.

 
Advertising Deductibility to Pay For Extenders?

The AAF has learned limitations on the tax deductibility of advertising has once again been discussed by some members of the tax writing House Ways and Means Committee. The Committee is considering so-called tax extenders. These are typically “temporary” tax cuts that Congress enacts and then renews on a regular basis.  In theory, but not always in practice, the lost revenue must be replaced to make the budget impact neutral.

It is uncertain whether the committee will look for revenue to offset the extenders, but we understand that some members of the committee have mentioned advertising deductibility as possible source of money if they do. AAF encourages local clubs in the districts of Ways and Means members to remind lawmakers of the amount of economic impact and jobs that advertising supports in their home districts.

 
Billboard Caps Tables in Louisiana

A bill to place a cap on the number of billboards in Louisiana has been tabled, presumably ending its chances of enactment in the current legislative session. The legislation was reportedly supported by the trucking industry which was upset by many anti-trucker outdoor ads sponsored by trial lawyers. AAF-Baton Rouge and the other ad clubs in the state were supportive of the outdoor industry’s efforts to defeat this unwarranted assault on outdoor advertising.

 
 AAF Advertising Day on the Hill a Big Success

On March 6 and 7, 60 AAF members from across the country gathered in Washington, DC to participate in AAF’s Advertising Day on the Hill.  Those members were educated and entertained by presentations about the best ways to communicate with legislators and staff, as well comprehensive overviews of the tax and privacy issues likely to be considered in the current session of Congress.  Demonstrating AAF’s power as a grassroots organization, the attendees conducted well over 100 face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and their staffs.

 

The AAF protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities. Our nation-wide network monitors advertising-related legislation on local, state and federal levels. We put our members face-to-face with influential lawmakers while encouraging self-regulation as a preemptor to government intervention, when appropriate of course. To learn more about our advocacy efforts, click here.

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