Bono Mack

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) plans to introduce legislation to renew the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to take action against cross-border spam, spyware, and fraud.

Among other provisions, the U.S. SAFE WEB Act of 2006 gave the FTC authority to share information with foreign law-enforcement agencies, to take action against foreign conduct that is unfair

Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, is still working to reach consensus on the data security bill that he and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) introduced in June.  A scheduled markup was canceled in September, and the committee decided not to consider the bill at yesterday’s executive session.  Nonetheless, a spokesman for

Yesterday, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing entitled , “Understanding Consumer Attitudes About Privacy.”  The hearing featured a single panel with a mix of industry representatives and consumer privacy advocates, including representatives from Intuit, Microsoft, the Digital Advertising Alliance, Evidon, and the World Privacy Forum. 

A primary focus of the hearing was the efficacy of industry self-regulatory initiatives and other efforts to provide consumers with information and choices about managing their online privacy.  In particular, members expressed interest in the “About Ads” self-regulatory principles for online behavioral advertising and other company-specific efforts to provide consumers with notice and choice. Continue Reading Bono Mack Holds Hearing About Consumer Privacy Expectations

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held the latest in its series of hearings on Internet privacy Wednesday morning. The hearing — titled “Protecting Children’s Privacy in an Electronic World” — focused on the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed updates to the regulations implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which generally bars website operators from collecting or disclosing personal information from children under 13 without first obtaining parental consent. Lawmakers and witnesses also discussed whether Congress should enact additional legislation, particularly to protect teenagers. Click the jump to see a summary of some of the key issues addressed at the hearing and in witness’ prepared statements.Continue Reading House Subcommittee Discusses COPPA Updates, Teen Privacy

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation introduced by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (S. 1151) that would require firms to develop comprehensive data security programs and would impose a federal breach notice obligation on firms.  The same day, the Committee also approved amended versions of breach notification measures introduced by Sen. Dianne

Politico and other news sources are reporting that the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade plans to hold a hearing on the FTC’s proposed revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act rule.  We previously analyzed the FTC’s proposal here

The hearing has not yet been formally announced but

For the fifth consecutive session of Congress, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has introduced legislation that would establish a federal data breach notification standard.  Sen. Feinstein’s legislation — the Data Breach Notification Act of 2011 (S. 1408) — is one of a number of breach notice proposals circulating on Capitol Hill that would preempt state breach notice laws and replace them with a federal standard.  In the Senate alone, Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) have introduced the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2011 (S. 1207), and Sen. Patrick Leahy has introduced the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2011 (S. 1151). 

We have heard from several sources that Sen. Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, is planning to markup S. 1207 in the near future.  And last week, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade marked up and voted to report the SAFE Data Act (H.R. 2577) (introduced by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)) to the full House Energy & Commerce Committee. 

Unlike many of the breach bills that are circulating, Senator Feinstein’s bill is limited to breach notification obligations and does not include information security requirements.  Generally, S. 1408 is much more similar to the breach notice provisions of S. 1151 (Leahy) than S. 1207 (Rockfeller/Pryor) or H.R. 2577 (Bono Mack).Continue Reading Feinstein Introduces Breach Notice Bill; Senate Committee May Consider Breach Notice Proposals Shortly

By David Fagan and Libbie Canter

Yesterday, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade voted to report the Secure and Fortify Electronic Data Act (H.R. 2577) — the SAFE Data Act — to the full House Energy & Commerce Committee, moving the legislation one step closer to passage. The legislation creates a national breach notification standard that would preempt the 46 state laws (plus District of Columbia and Puerto Rico laws) that presently require entities to notify consumers of breaches of their personal information.

The legislation was introduced formally on July 19 by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and was approved by the Subcommittee by a voice vote that appeared to track party lines. Rep. Bono Mack had circulated a discussion draft of the SAFE Data Act last month that we discussed here.

Prior to voting the bill out of the Subcommittee, members considered several amendments to the legislation, focusing in particular on issues relating to the rulemaking authority of the Federal Trade Commission and the scope of the definition of personal information. The Subcommittee took the following actions on proposed amendments:

  • It approved an amendment offered by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) that is intended to clarify that the Act’s information security obligations apply to paper records in addition to electronic records. 
  • It approved an amendment offered by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Pete Olson (R-TX) that appears designed to make it more difficult for the Federal Trade Commission to expand the definition of personal information. Prior to the amendment, the bill expressly authorized the FTC to modify the definition of personal information through an Administrative Procedures Act rulemaking process.

Continue Reading House Subcommittee Approves Bono Mack Breach Notification Legislation

Yesterday, two Subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade and Communications and Technology) held a joint hearing entitled “Internet Privacy:  The Views of the FTC, the FCC, and NTIA” that featured testimony from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez, and NTIA Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling.  Topics discussed included the need for privacy and data security legislation, the development of baseline governing principles, and current efforts by each agency to engage stakeholders on these issues.

Legislators from both Subcommittees recognized the economic and social value of the Internet throughout the hearing and emphasized that nearly every aspect of our daily lives now has an online component.  Despite its “incalculable value,” the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Cal.), characterized the Internet as a “work in progress” and expressed concerns shared by many Members of the two Subcommittees over the collection, use, sharing and protection of online data and the need to improve consumer education.  The witnesses generally shared these concerns, and although their testimony did not reflect a shift in policy at the FTC, FCC, or NTIA, the dialogue between the legislators and regulators did shed light on the current state of thinking about privacy regulation at the federal level.Continue Reading Two House Energy & Commerce Subcommittees Hold Hearing on Internet Privacy

by David Fagan, Libbie Canter, and Josephine Liu

The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held a hearing yesterday on draft data security legislation authored by Chairwoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA).  The hearing was very well attended with significant substantive engagement by Subcommittee members on both sides of the aisle — an indication that the Subcommittee and the broader House Energy and Commerce Committee are committed to moving data security legislation this year.  To that end, it is worth noting that while the House last year passed legislation drafted by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) — which was re-introduced earlier this year, along with a similar legislation from Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) — Rep. Bono Mack’s legislation, the Secure and Fortify Electronic Data Act, or SAFE Data Act, is expected now to form the basis for legislation in the House this year.Continue Reading Rep. Bono Mack Circulates Data Security Bill in Advance of Subcommittee Hearing