U.S. Republicans and Democrats agree on need for bipartisan privacy legislation; divided over giving more powers to FTC

“Democratic and Republican lawmakers both stressed the need for bipartisan privacy legislation on Wednesday but seemed divided on how willing they were to strengthen the Federal Trade Commission, which is expected to be tasked with enforcing an eventual law,” Reuters reports.

“At the hearing of a House of Representatives Energy and Commerce subcommittee,” Reuters reports, “Subcommittee Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, was one of several people who favored increased funding for the Federal Trade Commission as well as stronger rule-making authority as part of a bill to protect users’ privacy online.”

“The top Republican on the panel, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, also said that she would support a national standard for data privacy and wanted to hold companies accountable for violations,” Reuters reports, “But she worried about giving more power to the agency, saying she did not want to the FTC to be converted into ‘a massive rule-making regime.'”

“FTC Chairman Joe Simons asked for enhanced rule-making authority for the agency to enforce any privacy legislation but pressed for it to be limited to the one issue,” Reuters reports, “‘Please do not do it. Do not give us broad rule-making authority. Give us targeted rule-making authority,’ he said. ‘The last thing that we want is for you to dump that question on us.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As always, we’ll get to the goal, bipartisan privacy legislation, eventually, as the U.S. constitutional system works its unparalleled 231-year-old magic.

Apple CEO Cook calls for U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation in TIME op-ed – January 17, 2019
Senator Marco Rubio introduces privacy bill to create federal regulations on data collection – January 16, 2019
Apple endorses comprehensive privacy legislation in U.S. Senate testimony – September 26, 2018
Trump administration working on federal data privacy policy – July 27, 2018


  1. Re: MDN Take. I think it might be a bit over-the-top to say that Congress “always” gets around to writing necessary bipartisan legislation. There are quite a few issues they’ve never gotten around to properly addressing, despite a general acknowledgement of the need.

  2. “Bipartisan” does not mean today what it did 20 – 40 years ago. Today, to Democrats and Republicans, it means : “I am for bipartisan work (if the other side will agree with what my idea IS.)”

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