Internet Economy Leaders Agree on Need for National Consumer Privacy Protections

Miss. Senator Working on Comprehensive Data Protection Plan

September 26, 2018

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today attended a hearing to examine safeguards for consumer data privacy. The panel of witnesses included high-level representatives from AT&T, Amazon, Google, Twitter, Apple, and Charter Communications.

At the hearing, Wicker pressed the panel members about the need for Congress to pass a comprehensive consumer data protection policy that would preempt state laws to ensure that consumers maintained the same protections across state lines. The question comes after Wicker and other senators sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, which recognized the need for a national privacy policy in order to protect American consumers and preserve innovation on the internet. Every panel witness agreed Congress would be the best venue for privacy legislation.

“The details matter a lot,” said Andrew DeVore, Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Amazon, Inc. “It is essential to avoid the risks we’ve identified, which is a patchwork of state laws that have the risk of imposing regulations that don’t actually serve the core interest… which is ensuring that customers trust the way their data is being used.”

“A uniform application… across industries enforced by the FTC is the right way to go,” said Keith Enright, who is the chief privacy officer for Google.

Other witnesses at today’s panel included:

  • Mr. Len Cali, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy, AT&T Inc.
  • Mr. Damian Kieran, Global Data Protection Officer and Associate Legal Director, Twitter, Inc.
  • Mr. Guy (Bud) Tribble, Vice President for Software Technology, Apple Inc.
  • Ms. Rachel Welch, Senior Vice President, Policy & External Affairs, Charter Communications, Inc.