Published: December 2019

Congress tackles Americans’ desire for more online privacy

In a joint letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, coalition members called on the committee to enact stronger privacy protections online. The letter explains that out of the three recent privacy bills introduced in committee, the “Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act” (COPRA) is one of the strongest pieces of privacy legislation in the Senate and that it largely satisfies the four principles of the Public Interest Privacy Legislation Principles, which Consumer Action signed onto last November.

The U.S. is one of the only countries in the Western world without a comprehensive law providing safeguards around how corporations collect personal information on their users. Yet, poll after poll shows Americans overwhelmingly back Congress enacting new rules on companies' use of their personal data. As the majority of Americans call for more online privacy, Congress should ensure that data protection regulations adequately respond to the overwhelming desire of individuals to have more robust digital privacy protections, and should place primary responsibility to safeguard our rights on companies, not individuals. Out of the three privacy bills recently introduced in the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA), the United States Consumer Data Privacy Act of 2019 (USCDPA), and the Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly (BROWSER) Act, COPRA provides the strongest privacy protections for consumers online. COPRA would protect civil rights with strong anti-discrimination provisions covering protected classes in key contexts like housing and employment. It would also give states and individuals the ability to enforce the law and would preempt state laws only where they directly conflict with federal provisions.

Lead Organization

Access Now

Other Organizations

Access Now | Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood | Center for Digital Democracy | Center on Privacy and Technology, Georgetown Law | Common Cause | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Fight for the Future | Free Press Action | Media Alliance | MediaJustice | New America’s Open Technology Institute | Oakland Privacy | Privacy Rights Clearinghouse | Public Citizen | Public Knowledge | U.S. Public Interest Research Group

More Information

To read the coalition letter in full, click here.

For more information, please visit Access Now.

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