Hillicon Valley - Big business threatens privacy bill
hillicon valley big business threatens privacy bill

Hillicon Valley – Big business threatens privacy bill

The comprehensive data privacy bill introduced in June has become one of the most lobbied bills in Congress, and the corporate efforts could imperil the legislation’s path forward.

Meanwhile, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) on Wednesday said he was worried there are too many cooks in the kitchen when it comes to leading the federal government’s cybersecurity efforts.

This is Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Send tips to The Hill’s Rebecca Klar and Ines Kagubare. Someone forward you this newsletter? Subscribe here.

Industry weighs in on privacy proposal

Industry lobbying could imperil a comprehensive privacy bill that would fundamentally shift the way companies collect user data online.

Since its introduction in June, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act has been one of the most lobbied bills in Congress, drawing attention from more than
180 corporate clients, including Amazon, Disney and Target, according to data from research group OpenSecrets.

  • The bipartisan bill, which represents a breakthrough for lawmakers after years of negotiations, would restrict the kind of data companies can collect from online users and the ways they can use that data.
  • Its provisions would impact companies in every consumer-centric industry — including retailers, e-commerce giants, telecoms, credit card companies and tech firms — that compile massive amounts of user data and rely on targeted ads to attract customers.

“The gist of the bill is to have companies not collect any more data than they need to provide you with the service that you’re engaging with,” said Sara Collins, senior policy counsel at Public Knowledge, an interest group that backs the bill.

Some success: Corporate interests have already successfully softened some sections of the bill, which advanced through the House Energy and Commerce Committee by an overwhelming 53-2 vote last month. But other policy battles threaten to completely upend the privacy effort.

Read more here.

Portman warns against cyber overlap

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) on Wednesday said he was worried there are too many cooks in the kitchen when it comes to leading the federal government’s cybersecurity efforts.

Portman’s remarks came during a nomination hearing for Nathaniel Fick, President Biden’s nominee to be the ambassador at large for a new cyber bureau launched within the State Department in April.

“What I’m concerned about is that we have overlapping responsibilities and authorities with regard to our cyber defense,” Portman said.

“We seem to keep adding more and more top cybersecurity positions to our government,” he added.

The State Department bureau was established to deal with international issues related to cyber and emerging technologies.

Read more here.


The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up a bill aimed at giving news publishers the power to bargain with dominant tech platforms over the distribution of their content on Thursday.

The senators will be voting on whether to advance the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, a bipartisan bill led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

The bill would allow news publishers to enter into bargaining agreements with tech companies about their content in a way that supporters say would help local news outlets with the ride of digital ad revenue giants like Google and Facebook.

But it may face challenges in the committee, despite the bipartisan support. Earlier this year during a Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee hearing on the proposal, subcommittee ranking member Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) voiced opposition to the proposal.

Moreover, the debate on the bill comes as Klobuchar’s other bipartisan antitrust bills targeting tech giants face a dwindling legislative deadline. The Open App Markets Act and the American Innovation and Online Choice Act advanced out of the committee earlier this year but have yet to be called for a floor vote.


Wikipedia is setting restrictions on Wednesday for new and unregistered users who try to edit the page about recession.

A spokesperson for the Wikimedia Foundation, the company behind the online encyclopedia, told The Hill that starting Wednesday, new account users and anonymous users will be able to make changes to the English recession page, but their edits will be subject to review from volunteer editors.

After the Commerce Department announced last week the nation’s economy shrank for the second quarter in a row, the recession page drew a frenzy of users who debated the definition of a recession and how it should be reflected in the article.

Read more here.


An op-ed to chew on: Student privacy laws remain the same, but children are now the product

Notable links from around the web:

FTC Under Khan Faulted by Watchdog on Hiring Unpaid Experts (Bloomberg / Leah Nylen)

Arizona Republicans exaggerate voting issues to sow fresh doubt about elections (The New York Times / Stuart A. Thompson)

The crypto crackdown begins (Vox / Sara Morrison)

One more thing: Pelosi’s Taiwan trip stirs controversy

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has stirred a storm of controversy, heightening tensions with China and captivating the world’s attention.

For the California Democrat, however, the trip is something much more personal.

Pelosi has a long track record of confronting Chinese leaders head-on, particularly on issues of human rights, stretching back decades to include the massacre of pro-democracy activists on Tiananmen Square.

Her decision to visit Taiwan — a self-governing democracy that Beijing claims as its own — ranks among the most conspicuous exhibitions of that advocacy campaign; Pelosi on Tuesday became the highest-ranking U.S. official to set foot in Taiwan in
25 years.

Read more here.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.


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