IAB Raises Concerns About New National Data Privacy Proposal


Washington, D.C. – Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has issued a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee supporting its work to create a national data privacy law, as well as online protections for children. However the leading trade body for the digital advertising industry also points out flaws in several bills the Committee considered at a hearing today entitled “Legislative Solutions to Protect Kids Online and Ensure Americans’ Data Privacy Rights.”

Members of Congress addressed the American Privacy Rights Act, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act 2.0, Kids Online Safety Act, and other bills to regulate digital advertising, online media platforms and content, and the internet. “Like legislators, we want to foster a healthy online environment for kids, where they can continue to access beneficial, age-appropriate content. We also want to make sure bills to protect all Americans’ data privacy also protect the benefits of the ad-supported internet, including millions of jobs across the country and a large share of U.S. economic growth,” said IAB’s Executive Vice President for Public Policy Lartease Tiffith in a statement accompanying his letter to Congress.

“The Internet is built on the continuous exchanges of data between devices and servers. Without these data exchanges, the Internet and its social, cultural, economic, and personal benefits would not exist,” he writes in his letter. According to IAB, without changes, data privacy legislation in Congress could amount to hundreds of billions of dollars in lost revenue and compliance costs for businesses of every size, as well as increased costs for small businesses and consumers, unable to afford higher advertising prices or new paywalls and subscriptions for previously free, ad-supported products and services.

Specifically, vague language, exemptions, and carve-outs in the American Privacy Rights Act could encourage a patchwork of state laws, fines at multiple levels of government, and a barrage of lawsuits. Exceeding restrictions in many state laws, the bill would ban anonymous browsing and video viewing history helping media publishers, including small website publishers, to better serve audiences and earn income. Language in the proposed Kids Online Safety Act could force businesses to treat every online visitor as a child, creating impediments to access for general audiences. As an extreme example, the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act, another subject of today’s hearing, could effectively eliminate the commercial internet.

“We appreciate Congress’ hard work and intent to protect Americans’ and especially children’s privacy,” said Tiffith. “But we should also remember that the internet and digital advertising have been a democratizing force, allowing more people to communicate, create, and advocate for issues important to them. Small businesses can compete nationally or even globally. IAB research shows consumers understand the value of data exchange and personalized advertising. Our country has been a technology leader, because we have allowed innovation to flourish. IAB is urging Congress to add more balance to legislation that could have some very negative unintended consequences.”

About IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership comprises more than 700 leading media companies, brands, agencies, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, IAB develops technical standards and solutions. IAB is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the trade association advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City.

IAB Media Contacts
Kate Tumino / Brittany Tibaldi
212-896-1252 / 347-487-6794
[email protected]/ [email protected]



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