Yesterday, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced the “Digital Accountability and Transparency to Advance Privacy Act” (DATA Privacy) to encourage businesses like Facebook and Amazon to explain privacy policies in clear language while meeting requirements for data collection, processing, and storage.
Today, Public Knowledge joined 43 other public interest, civil rights, racial justice, and consumer groups in a letter urging Congress to prioritize civil rights concerns when developing consumer privacy legislation. In the letter, Public Knowledge and other organizations argue that anti-discrimination principles need to be extended to the online economy in order to protect marginalized communities, especially communities of color.
On Tuesday, Motherboard published an article exposing the jaw-dropping ease of data collection and commercialization practices that can allow a stranger to find a cell phone’s location with just a phone number and $300. Motherboard’s investigation found that telecommunications companies, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, would sell location data with an aggregator, which sold the data to MicroBilt, which then sold it to a Motherboard investigator for “dirt cheap.”
Yesterday, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Public Knowledge finds this nomination extremely troubling for the future of consumer protection and competition law based on Judge Kavanaugh’s extremely expansive view of corporate speech rights and expressed antipathy to economic regulation.