US corporations demand data protection law – but please toothless


51 major US corporations are calling for a single consumer privacy law across the US. So far, there are only in the country for people younger than 13. Since the US election last year is a new generation of politicians at the helm, which has brought in several US states data protection laws from the road. The corporations do not want to deal with over 50 different laws and authorities. Therefore, they demand a federal law without claim to judicial enforcement.

That goes from a Tuesday published Letter from the 51 CEOs to the representatives and senators of the US Congress. The authors worry about the trust of their customers and urge the legislature to hurry. In doing so they outline problematic aspects of the current situation: "We can not and should not expect consumers to understand the rules that can change depending on which state they live in, in which state they go to the Internet and in which state (Entrepreneur) sits ", write the corporations.

In addition, the fragmentation in state laws threatens the "innovation and global competitiveness" of the United States. Signatories to the letter include network operators, financial institutions, and automotive manufacturers as well as, Dell, Harman, IBM, Motorola Solutions, Qualcomm, Salesforce, and SAP. They also put away a frame that "Framework for Consumer Privacy Legislation" called.

This framework clearly reflects the interests of the corporations. The US should be seen as a pioneer of privacy in order to regain consumer confidence. Uniform rules across the US across all industries are designed to cut costs, while small businesses should have additional exceptions. States and municipalities should no longer be able to enact data protection rules. It is also demanded that data flow freely across international borders.

In the very last line of the document he is pulled the tooth: Affected should expressly have no right to go to data breaches in court. This eliminates the possibility to claim damages. For the enforcement of the desired consumer data protection law rather the trade authority FTC should be responsible. In addition, the Ministers of Justice of the individual US states should complain, each for residents of their state.

The FTC is a politically charged body that specializes in symbolic procedures with high fines against individual rogues. This makes headlines, but has little to do with widespread law enforcement. Affected parties are not entitled to an FTC procedure. They can only encourage regulatory intervention, which rarely succeeds.

The low data protection effect of the FTC is reflected in the Child Data Protection Act COPPA. It is around 20 years old but is largely ignored. Last year, an investigation found that in Google's Play Store three-quarters of all children's apps on the privacy whistle. As far as known, the FTC has since prosecuted just four companies: (TikTok) had to pay $ 5.7 million penalty, YouTube 170 million. One website got away with $ 35,000, another with the promise to improve. In addition, three dating apps have been removed from the Play Store.

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The FTC drips so in the bucket, in the hope that evaporation hissing dissuasive. The same is true of complaints by the Ministers of Justice of the individual states. Also this office is occupied politically, mostly by direct choice. Victims also can not force their Minister of Justice to take action against lawbreakers or prevent a poor comparison.

Corporations suggest that consumers are entitled to "reasonable" access to understandable information about their counterparty's data usage. In addition, they should be able to exercise "reasonable" control over the collection and use of their data. Added to this is the opportunity to "select" the sale of their data to third parties. This is not required for free data transfer.