Now industry groups are pushing Congress to pass a national privacy bill that would block states from implementing their own standards.
Privacy advocates are skeptical of the industry proposals and concerned that internet giants will co-opt the process in order to get protections that are weaker than the California standard implemented across the country.
“They do not want effective oversight. They do not want regulation of their business practices, which is really urgently needed,” Jeff Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), told The Hill. “They’re going to work behind the scenes to shape legislation that will not protect Americans from having all of their information regularly gathered and used by these digital giants.”
“They see federal law as an opportunity to preempt stronger rules,” he added.
Next week, executives from Google, Apple, AT&T and other major technology and telecommunications companies will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee as the panel’s Republican chairman, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), prepares to introduce a new privacy law.
I noted this potential probability back in April in a TPC column:
His other motive was the afore-mentioned collusion. A dirty little secret of the political world is that large corporations are absolutely, head over heels, in love with government regulation. State mandates price out competition, prevent startup challenges, foster monopolies, and raise profits. One of “your” political heroes hinted around this fact; Zuck nodded along sheepishly.
And preempt stronger rules. One will note that its the giant tech companies that are invited to speak to Congress, the same companies with a history of privacy violation, spying, and selling to the highest bidder. I imagine the law, as they want it, is already drafted. Just a matter of bribes now.