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Jun 13, 2024
Blog

Consumer Groups, Venues, and Artists Applaud House Passage of the Ticket Act

Washington D.C. —  Consumer advocates and stakeholders agree that H.R. 3950, the  Transparency in Charges for Key Events Ticketing (TICKET) Act , will restore fairness and transparency to the ticketing marketplace. The bill, which  passed the House last month by a vote 388-24 , will significantly enhance the customer experience of buying event tickets online. This united message from stakeholders should send a clear message to the Senate that they must act quickly to pass this important legislation so it can be sent to President Joe Biden’s desk and signed into law. Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights “Congratulations to Representatives Bilirakis and Schakowsky for achieving this important milestone. Today marks the furthest federal live event ticketing reform has gone in nearly a decade. We applaud them for their leadership and their willingness to engage all stakeholders, especially consumer protection organizations, in seeking a truly comprehensive reform package which has consensus by virtually every stakeholder in the debate. We urge the Senate to send the  TICKET Act  to President Biden’s desk as expeditiously as possible.” National Consumers League “Fairness in live event ticketing took a huge step forward today,”  said John Breyault, Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud at the National Consumers League.  “For decades, the simple act of buying a ticket to see your favorite artist or team has been an exercise in frustration. Thanks to leaders like Chairman Bilirakis and Ranking Member Schakowsky, the days that ticketing companies can get away with ridiculous ticket add-on fees and deceptive resale websites are numbered.” National Independent Venue Association “We commend House passage of H.R. 3950, the  TICKET Act , which will help to improve the ticket buying experience for fans, to protect the livelihoods of artists, and to preserve independent venues across the nation,"  said Stephen Parker, Executive Director of the National Independent Venue Association.  "Not only has the U.S. House of Representatives moved to protect consumers from predatory and deceptive ticketing practices, but states across the country, including Arizona, Maryland, Minnesota and Nevada, have recently banned, without exception, speculative tickets on a bipartisan basis. We call on Congress to do the same, to build on the  TICKET Act  and adopt strong, enforceable, comprehensive ticketing reform legislation like the Fans First Act.” Artist Rights Alliance “ARA applauds the House's passage of the  TICKET Act , a positive move towards increased transparency and fairness in ticketing. We will continue to advocate for a fair and equitable ticketing system that fully supports artists and fans.” Sports Fans Coalition “Today is a momentous day for live event ticketing reform,”  said Brian Hess, Executive Director of Sports Fans Coalition.  “If enacted, this bill will guarantee sports fans all-in pricing, prohibitions on several deceptive sales tactics, and refund requirements for canceled events. We hope the Senate will pass this vital legislation and that President Biden will sign it shortly thereafter.” Recording Academy "Today's passage of the  TICKET Act  by the House of Representatives marks a significant step forward toward improving the concert ticket marketplace,"  said Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr.  "The  TICKET Act  was a key focus of GRAMMYs on the Hill [...] and the Recording Academy thanks our Congressional leaders for bringing the bill to a vote shortly after meeting with Academy members.” – Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. Live Nation (Ticketmaster) “Live Nation applauds House lawmakers for advancing the  TICKET Act . [...] We look forward to working with policymakers to make these changes law.” Coalition for Ticket Fairness "The Coalition for Ticket Fairness (CTF) applauds The House on the passage of The  TICKET Act . Introduced by Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce Chair Gus Bilirakis and Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky, The  TICKET Act  represents common sense reforms that will bring much needed transparency into the ticket buying process and give consumers more information as they make purchasing decisions. By empowering consumers, this bill will help lead to a better ticket buying experience and a healthier marketplace. “CTF is proud to have been supportive of the  TICKET Act  from the beginning. We believe in leveling the playing field in the ticket marketplace and ensuring that fans have options. We encourage the Senate to move forward in passing their version of the bill as soon as possible." Fix the Tix Coalition “The Fix the Tix Coalition, representing every major constituency of the music and live events industry, applauds the passage of H.R. 3950, the  TICKET Act , as an important step towards restoring trust in the ticketing ecosystem. The bill provides transparency with all-in pricing, and takes important steps to combat speculative tickets and deceptive websites. [...] The live entertainment ecosystem is counting on Congress to act in the best interests of fans to restore transparency and trust to our country’s broken ticketing system.” Vivid Seats “Vivid Seats applauds Chairman Bilirakis, Congresswoman Schakowsky and the Committee Members for their hard work and dedication to legislation that will help fans across the country. We believe the  TICKET Act  will not only improve the process of purchasing tickets to live events, but its comprehensive approach will increase transparency that has been needed for decades.” NetChoice “Thank you to Rep. Bilirakis and Rep. Schakowsky for leading the House effort to get the  TICKET Act  passed! This pro-consumer legislation will bring much needed transparency to the tickets marketplace.” StubHub “StubHub applauds the House’s overwhelming support of the  TICKET Act  which protects consumers and preserves an innovative and competitive marketplace. It establishes a uniform national standard for all-in pricing for the entire live events industry, creating consistency and strong protections for fans across the US.”  Consumer Action “This bill lets fans know that when they buy a ticket to their favorite events, they’ll be assured that the ticket is real, the price is clear and a refund is available if the event is cancelled. That’s some real progress for consumers,”  said Ruth Susswein, Consumer Action’s Director of Consumer Protection.



Jun 12, 2024
Blog

Full Committee Markup Recap: E&C Advances 13 Health Related Bills to the Full House

The Energy and Commerce Committee today advanced 13 health related bills to the full House to improve the health and wellbeing of the American people. Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said: “I want to thank all of the members for their hard work on these bills and taking the time necessary to get the policy right and move policies in a fiscally responsible way […] I am proud of all that we have, and continue, to accomplish working together.” Legislative Vote Summary:   H.R. 6020 , Honor Our Living Donors Act, led by Reps. Obernolte and DelBene, has been agreed to, as amended, by a roll call vote of 42 Yeas to 0 Nays.  H.R. 455 , To amend the Controlled Substances Act to fix a technical error in the definitions, led by Reps. Burchett and Cohen, has been agreed to, without amendment, by a roll call vote of 44 Yeas to 0 Nays. H.R. 4534 , Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventative Services Act of 2023, led by Reps. Boyle and Fitzpatrick, has been agreed to, as amended, by a roll call vote of 44 Yeas to 0 Nays.  H.R. 5012 , Stillbirth Health Improvement and Education (SHINE) for Autumn Act of 202, led by Reps. Y. Kim and Castor, has been agreed to, without amendment, by a roll call vote of 45 Yeas to 0 Nays.  H.R. 7213 , Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2024, led by Reps. C. Smith and Cuellar, has been agreed to, as amended, by a roll call vote of 42 Yeas to 0 Nays.  H.R. 8084 , LIVE Beneficiaries Act, led by Reps. Bilirakis and Craig, has been agreed to, as amended, by a roll call vote of 46 Yeas to 0 Nays.  H.R. 8089 , Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act of 2024, led by Reps. M. Garcia and Peters, has been agreed to, as amended, by a roll call vote of 45 Yeas to 0 Nays.  H.R. 8111 , To amend the title XIX of the Social Security Act to ensure the reliability of address information provided under the Medicaid program, led by Reps. Miller-Meeks and Cartwright, has been agreed to, as amended, by a roll call vote of 46 Yeas to 0 Nays.  H.R. 8112 , To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to further require certain additional provider screening under the Medicaid program, led by Rep. D’Esposito, has been agreed to, as amended, by a roll call vote of 45 Yeas to 0 Nays.  H.R. 4758 , Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act, led by Reps. Trahan and Miller-Meeks, has been agreed to, as amended, by a roll call vote of 42 Yeas to 0 Nays.  H.R. 5526 , Seniors’ Access to Critical Medications Act , led by Reps. Harshbarger and Wasserman Schultz, has been agreed to, as amended, by a roll call vote of 41 Yeas to 0 Nays.  H.R. 6033 , Supporting Patient Education and Knowledge (SPEAK) Act of 2023, led by Reps. Steel and Gomez, has been agreed to, as amended, by a roll call vote of 40 Yeas to 0 Nays.  H.R. 7858 , Telehealth Enhancement for Mental Health Act of 2024, led by Reps. James and D.G. Davis, has been agreed to, as amended, by a roll call vote of 40 Yeas to 0 Nays.



Jun 11, 2024
Blog

E&C Republicans Lead CRA to Reverse President Biden’s Attack on Affordable, Reliable American Power

Biden Administration’s New Rules Will Compromise Our Reliable Electric Grid Last week, Energy and Commerce Committee Member Troy Balderson (R-OH) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) led more than 138 members of the House, including every single E&C Republican member, in introducing a joint resolution of disapproval to halt President Biden’s recent regulatory attack on U.S. power plants. The President’s Clean Power Plan 2.0 will shut down critical baseload energy generation across the country which will lead to higher energy costs, compromise our grid, and jeopardize thousands of American jobs.   Innovation, entrepreneurship, and free market competition have driven America’s energy and environmental leadership. The President should be working with Congress to expand the nation’s reliable, affordable baseload energy rather than undermining our energy security with his radical rush-to-green agenda. Read what E&C Republicans and other top voices had to say: The American Iron and Steel Institute: “We applaud Senator Capito and Congressman Balderson for their leadership in supporting American steel producers, who depend heavily on affordable and reliable electricity. The American steel industry leads the world in terms of clean steel production and serves as the critical component in all clean energy technologies. Unfortunately, this EPA rule threatens the premature closure of a significant number of baseload power plants on which our sector relies —as EPA’s own analysis forecasts. We appreciate the nearly 200 members of Congress who agree and have cosponsored this resolution to overturn the regulation,” said American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) President and CEO Kevin Dempsey.   The American Chemistry Council: “ACC applauds Rep. Balderson and Senator Capito for leading this CRA resolution. US manufacturing needs access to affordable, reliable electricity to compete, innovate & create jobs. We urge Congress to support this important effort.   National Rural Electric Cooperative Association: “EPA’s power plant rule is unlawful, unreasonable and unachievable. Under the rule, EPA illegally attempts to transform the U.S. energy economy by forcing a shift in electricity generation to the agency’s favored sources. EPA exceeded its authority and Congress must overturn its action. We urge Congress to pass this resolution and are grateful for Sen. Capito and Rep. Balderson’s leadership to reverse this harmful rule,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson.   American Petroleum Institute:   “At a time of rapid energy demand growth, we need policies that harness all of America’s resources, including natural gas, to power our future economy and help ensure energy is affordable for families and businesses. Instead, EPA’s final rule does nothing but add barriers to building the new generation capacity needed to power the future grid. We thank Rep. Balderson for prioritizing reliable energy and will continue to work with policymakers to keep the lights on for the American people,” said Rob Jennings, Vice President of Natural Gas Markets for the American Petroleum Institute (API).   The National Mining Association:   “Even prior to the introduction of the CPP 2.0, we were teetering on the edge of power supply shortfalls – with razor thin capacity margins colliding with new, soaring demand. The EPA’s response to documented grid problems has been an irresponsible disregard for our electricity reality that cannot be allowed to stand. We appreciate the leadership shown by Senator Capito and Congressman Balderson in pursuing CRAs against the CPP 2.0 rule and calling for its reversal,” said Rich Nolan, President and CEO of the National Mining Association (NMA).    Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions: “‘America needs more energy generation, not less,’ said Heather Reams, President of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES). ‘The Biden Administration's latest iteration of the Clean Power Plan threatens U.S. energy reliability—endangering our ability to keep the lights on and threatening our status as a leader in global emissions reduction. Thank you, Sen. Capito and Rep. Balderson, for leading the effort to reverse these misguided regulations. CRES looks forward to continuing our work with Republicans to promote clean, affordable and reliable American-made energy.’”   Western Energy Alliance:   “‘Increased use of natural gas to generate electricity is the primary reason the United States has reduced more greenhouse gas emissions than any other country. Despite the huge environmental benefits natural gas provides, the Biden EPA seeks to discourage new gas power plants by requiring 90% carbon capture and storage by the completely unrealistic year of 2032 for a technology that currently is operational in exactly zero power plants. Rather than subject the power sector to a long legal struggle to overturn a rule that is so obviously unlawful, Congress can circumvent a huge source of wasted effort with the CRA resolution and let the power sector get back to meeting the vast new demand for electricity to support AI, data centers, electric vehicles, and basic daily life. Western Energy Alliance is very grateful to Senator Capito and Congressman Balderson for putting forward this commonsense bill,’ said Kathleen Sgamma, President of Western Energy Alliance.”   Heritage Action:   “‘The EPA’s so-called Clean Power Rule would be a disaster for America’s energy independence and economic competitiveness. The regulation hits middle class families the hardest, mandating expensive and unreliable energy sources while putting thousands of Americans out of work and enriching our foreign adversaries like China. Once again, President Biden is ignoring the Supreme Court and the needs of hardworking families to push through an overreaching, job-killing regulation. Heritage Action applauds Rep. Balderson for fighting back,’ said Ryan Walker, Executive Vice President of Heritage Action.”   CLICK HERE to read Rep. Balderson’s press release announcing the resolution. CLICK HERE for information from Energy and Commerce's November 2023 hearing on the Clean Power Plan 2.0.



Chair Rodgers Joins CNBC’s Last Call to Discuss E&C Hearing on Powering AI

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined CNBC’s Last Call to discuss the Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee hearing on meeting the energy needs of emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence, while maintaining an affordable, reliable electric grid. Highlights and excerpts from the interview below: On Meeting the Energy Needs of Our Digital Future:    “The hearing today highlighted how important reliable baseload energy is to new technologies, whether it is AI or other technologies . Today we were focusing on the massive data centers that are being built, massive amounts of data that’s being collected and stored, and that all requires reliable energy.    “You think about advanced manufacturing and bringing those technologies to the United States. Again, it is dependent upon energy, and it is foundational to our lives.  “ We need more energy, not less , but we continue to see policies from the administration that are shutting down energy ... their policies are making it harder.  “If we are going to embrace artificial intelligence and everything it offers to us as a nation, it is going to require a lot more energy. That is why we have been continuing to focus on the importance of this baseload reliable energy.”  On the Importance of Reliable Energy:   “Baseload means twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It means that we have to have reliable energy, and that’s so foundational to our lives. We all are dependent upon it.   “What we heard today is that we are going to need at least double, some are predicting even more baseload.   “Down in the Georgia region, where they finally did permit a new nuclear plant, the new Vogtle plant, they said they’re going to need at least the electricity generation equal to five of those Vogtle plants moving forward.   “That’s why the Energy and Commerce Committee has been leading on streamlining the permitting process through a major nuclear package, hydropower, also dealing with natural gas pipelines .    "Permitting is probably the number one barrier to doing anything in the United States of America, including building these energy projects that are so foundational to our lives, our future, and these new technologies.” Don’t miss what E&C Republicans said about the hearing:  Don’t miss in E&E Daily: Energy, Climate and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) set the tone by focusing on competition with U.S. adversaries, namely China. AI, cryptocurrencies and data centers make up about 2 percent of global energy demand, according to the International Energy Agency. That’s only expected to increase in the coming years.   “Communication, new frameworks and long-term planning are vital to meeting the technology and energy needs of this decade and decades to come,” said Duncan.   CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers opening remarks.  CLICK HERE to read Subcommittee Chair Duncan’s opening remarks.



May 23, 2024
Blog

Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Markup Recap: Monumental Step Forward for Data Privacy and Kids Online Safety

Washington D.C. — The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced proposals today that will establish one national standard for data privacy, protect kids online, and preserve Americans’ access to A.M. radio. In a Subcommittee markup , the Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee forwarded three pieces of legislation to the Full Committee for consideration. As Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said , “The American Privacy Rights Act is an opportunity for a reset, one that can help return us to the American Dream our Founders envisioned.  “It gives people the right to control their personal information online, something the American people overwhelmingly want. They’re tired of having their personal information abused for profit.”  Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) added , “We have a historic opportunity to advance legislation that will end the patchwork and finally provide a federal standard to govern how Americans’ personal information is collected, stored, retained, and transferred.   “The American Privacy Rights Act is the strongest consumer data privacy and security framework to date—it provides businesses with certainty through a national preemptive standard, secures individual liberties through strong data minimization provisions, and cements America’s global leadership through data security provisions that warn consumers when their information is being collected and shared with our foreign adversaries, like China and Russia.”  Legislative Vote Summary: H.R. ____ , the American Privacy Rights Act  discussion draft, was forwarded, without amendment, to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  H.R. 7891 , the Kids Online Safety Act, was forwarded, without amendment, to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  H.R. 8449 , the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act , was forwarded, without amendment, to the Full Committee by a voice vote. 



May 23, 2024
In the News

NBC News: Republicans and Democrats in Congress See Critical Window to Shield Online Data

Today, the Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee is holding a markup of the American Privacy Rights Act to establish one national standard for data privacy and security for people of all ages— including kids —in all 50 states. The bipartisan, bicameral draft legislation gives Americans control over where their information goes and who can sell it, empowers individuals to enforce their data privacy rights, and reins in Big Tech. Don’t miss key excerpts from NBC’s article highlighting the bill below: “The presidential election is a little more than five months away, but key Republicans and Democrats in Congress see a critical window to pass sweeping legislation to shield the online data of both children and adults from Big Tech companies. “‘I believe that there’s a moment here where, on behalf of the American people, Congress needs to act,’ House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said in an interview on the steps of the Capitol. “‘There’s a recognition, on behalf of protecting our kids online, in protecting all Americans, that we need to ensure that there are privacy rights in place … and that our identity is being protected online and that we’re in control of our data,’ she said. “The Energy and Commerce subcommittee that oversees online data will take the first step in trying to advance the privacy legislation, holding a markup Thursday on the American Privacy Rights Act, broad legislation that includes privacy protections for kids and adults, as well as the Kids Online Safety Act.” [...] “A revised draft bill was announced this week to address critics’ concerns. “The American Privacy Rights Act would create national consumer data privacy rights and set federal standards for securing people’s data rather than have a patchwork of state laws. Among other things, the legislation would require companies to be clear about how they use people’s data and ‘give consumers the right to access, correct, delete, and export their data,’ according to a bill summary. The bill would also limit how companies collect and use data and ban transferring certain data to third parties without consent. “The measure includes the bipartisan bill to protect kids' and teens' online data, known as COPPA 2.0. “‘I see the American Privacy Rights Act as foundational to protecting kids online, foundational to protecting our individual identity online,’ McMorris Rodgers said. “The bipartisan privacy bill is gathering momentum just weeks after McMorris Rodgers and Cantwell reached a compromise on legislation that forces TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, to sell the popular video-sharing app or face a ban in the U.S. President Joe Biden signed the TikTok bill into law as part of a larger national security package.” CLICK HERE to read the full article. CLICK HERE to learn more about how APRA is foundational to protecting kids online. CLICK HERE for how APRA will help small businesses grow and thrive.



May 22, 2024
In the News

Chair Rodgers Joins “Scrolling 2 Death” Podcast to Discuss the American Privacy Rights Act and Protecting Kids Online

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined host Nicki Reisberg on the Scrolling 2 Death podcast . Chair Rodgers shared how the American Privacy Rights Act will give people the right to control their data and is foundational to protecting kids online . Highlights and excerpts from the interview below: On the Importance of Protecting Kids Online: “First and foremost, I am a mom. We have three kids. Our oldest is 17, Cole, and then we have girls that are 10 and 13.   “Really, these Big Tech platforms have become my biggest fear. When you think about digital data, it’s deeply personal.    “It's central to a person's identity, and right now these algorithms that have been developed by these companies are specifically designed, not just to get our kids addicted to the platforms and keep them on these platforms as long as possible, but it also leads to harms against our children.   “A third of our teens right now say that they're almost constantly scrolling on some form of social media. “I think that's why the name of your podcast is spot on, because, really, our kids are scrolling to death, and these platforms are intentionally targeting our children with addictive content that leads to dangerous, and too often, life-threatening behaviors.   “Just recently, the Surgeon General of the United States of America talked about us having a loneliness epidemic.”  [...]   “What we're seeing is that this crisis is being driven because kids are spending more time online.   “Whether it's you, Nikki, or for my husband and I, or millions of parents across the nation, it really is a battle for our kids' development, their mental health, and ultimately their safety. That's why we must build a better future for our children.   “Our children are our future, and reining in Big Tech is a big part of what needs to happen to people, but especially our children, back in control of who they are, what they think, and how they live their lives.”  On Demanding Accountability from Big Tech: “Currently, Big Tech lacks accountability, and it's because they are immune from most civil liability because of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.   “This is a law that was passed back in 1996. So, it was well before most of these companies even existed.   “But, under Section 230, they were to moderate content that was illegal or illicit, and they were to be held accountable for that.   “Unfortunately, the way that the courts have interpreted Section 230, they have become almost immune from any accountability and immune from liability because of illegal or illicit activity.   “If you look in our society, other companies, other industries don't receive this kind of protection.   “And Big Tech is using this law to shield them from any responsibility and accountability, as their platforms are involved in [causing] immense harm to people and especially our children.  “The story that you just shared, unfortunately, is repeated over and over and over, and what is happening today is that these platforms and companies are profiting from children.   “They're developing algorithms that are pushing harmful content to our kids.   “They're refusing to strengthen their protections against bad actors, and we see more predators, more drug dealers, sex traffickers, extortionists, or cyber bullies, and it's our kids that are paying the price at the expense of their mental health.   “So, what we need is a reset, and that's what the package of bills that we are moving forward right now is focused on.   “We have the American Privacy Rights Act focused on creating a national standard [for] privacy [and] data security.  “We also have legislation around Section 230 that would sunset Section 230 and give Big Tech a choice either to work with Congress to ensure the internet is a safe and healthy place or lose those liability protections.   “This would ensure that the social media companies are being held accountable for failing to protect our kids online. We also have bills that are focused specifically on kids, KOSA and COPPA, which is the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.   “All of these bills are really focused on ushering in a new era on the internet, one that would be defined by individual control and free expression, prosperity, innovation, but most importantly, accountability and safety.”  On the Path to Reform Section 230: “We are continuing to move forward. The Section 230 bill is important, because, as you as you said, this is where the social media platforms are gaining this shield of immunity.   “Right now, even though the law says that they are to be moderating content that is illegal or illicit, I have a constituent, Molly Cain, who lost her son when he bought a pill online. This was Snapchat. But it was an anti anxiety pill he thought he was buying. Instead, it was laced in fentanyl, and he died.   “This type of a story where the tech company or the platform is not held accountable is repeated because of the way the courts have interpreted Section 230. So, what we're doing this week is moving forward on the legislation in the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has been at the forefront of these issues for decades."   [...]  “The goal here is to force Congress to reform this bill by certain date or the tech companies will just lose their immunity. So, we're going to be moving these bills through subcommittee, and that's the first step.  “Then they'll go to the Full Committee but [we’re] continuing to build support. It's really important that people that care about these issues are reaching out to Members on both sides of the aisle, right now, to voice their support for these bills.   “We're taking on some of the largest companies in America right now. They have a lot of resources, and my hope is that it will be moms and parents and kids that have been harmed that really rise up all across this country to voice support.”  On Limiting the Amount of Data Big Tech Can Collect: “We're going to continue to take steps. These are very complicated issues.   “As I mentioned, the Committee has been working on them for decades, but I really believe that now is the time that we have some solutions that have bipartisan support that we can get onto the President's desk. Congress needs to act.  “We have the American Privacy Rights Act. That's foundational to protecting our kids online, as well as protecting all Americans online. This would set up a national privacy standard, as well as protecting data online in all 50 states for all ages. Fundamentally, it is built upon data minimization.   “It just limits, from the very beginning, the amount of data that companies can collect, and this will restrict a company's ability to track, predict, and manipulate people for profit without their knowledge and consent.   “In addition, it will strengthen protections for children when Big Tech is using this data to track and target our kids online by creating dangerous algorithms.”  [...] “The bill also gives individuals an ability to turn off targeted advertising. That is another way that companies track every aspect of our lives, like our location data, our clicks, our search history, and it would require companies to review their algorithms to ensure that they're not endangering children through malicious content, which we all see is leading to these downward spirals.   “So, that's the American Privacy Rights Act. That's foundational, and then the kids bills complement this effort.   “We have the [Kids] Online Safety Act (KOSA), and then COPPA. [...] We had one lady young lady who testified her name was Ava, and she shared her personal story.  “It was really powerful to hear her talk about how they were collecting massive amounts of data on her. They were able to exploit her vulnerabilities. They understood her vulnerabilities, and then they targeted her through the ads, and they led her down this path that led to ads around bikinis and then it was exercise videos and then it was dieting tips.   “Then, finally, she found herself with an eating disorder, and she was so grateful that she was able to break out of that, but she just shared that because of the amount of data they collected, they weaponized that data against her and really exploited her vulnerabilities.”   On Working with the Senate and the White House to Pass Comprehensive Data Privacy: “Senator Maria Cantwell is the Chairwoman in the Senate of the Commerce Committee. We're working together on the privacy bill.   “There's been a lot of hearings, we've received a lot of feedback, and we continue to get input from Members and stakeholders, but I'm really encouraged by the support that we're hearing from, from Members and stakeholders on Capitol Hill, but also people all across the country. “This really is the time for people to make their voices heard, and demand that Congress take action to protect our kids online.” 



May 22, 2024
Blog

Protecting Kids Online with a National Data Privacy Standard

Parents Want Strong Privacy Protections Right now, the average American spends nearly seven hours online a day, with two and a half hours of that time being spent on social media platforms. That time nearly doubles for American teenagers, who spend on average 4.8 hours a day on social media platforms.  All the while, companies are collecting nearly every data point imaginable to build profiles on our kids—which they use to feed algorithms specifically designed to keep them addicted to their platforms. Studies show that teens and young adults who spend more time on social media experience lower psychological well-being, lower life satisfaction, less happiness, more feelings of loneliness and isolation, and more depression. These algorithms intentionally target children with content that can lead to dangerous and life-threatening behaviors, like eating disorders and self-harm.   Take for example, Ava Smithing, who recently testified before the Energy and Commerce Committee. Big Tech platforms collected and then weaponized Ava’s personal data—like her age, location, and gender—against her. According to Ava, “they used my data to infer what other types of ads and content I might ‘like,’ leading me down a pipeline from bikini ads, to exercise videos, to dieting tips, and finally to eating disorder content.” By monitoring her post engagements and what she spent time viewing, social media companies could track and exploit Ava’s vulnerabilities. Ava said, “How was I—a 14-year-old child—supposed to understand that social media platforms would use my age, location, and gender to target me with advertisements designed to instill insecurity in me?”  Ava’s story is one of many that is sadly heard too often.     It’s time for the status quo to change, which is why we’re leading on the American Privacy Rights Act to put people back in control of their personal information online and strengthen online protections for kids. As Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers has said , the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA), which includes provisions of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), is foundational for protecting children online. APRA protects kids online and makes it tougher for their data to land in the hands of Big Tech and bad actors by: Minimizing the data that is collected and retained on all Americans, including children, to what companies actually need to provide products and services Making it illegal to target advertising to children under 17 years old, and also allowing those over the age of 17 to opt-out of targeted advertisements Treating all data on children under the age of 17 as sensitive, meaning more robust protections for the collection and transfer of their personal information Requiring Big Tech to review their algorithms to ensure they do not endanger children through malicious content suggestions, stopping the downward spiral that exploits so many children online Creating a national data broker registry and a data broker “do not collect” and “delete my data” option for people Requiring companies to let people access, correct, delete, and export their data We cannot continue down the path we’re on, where companies and bad actors are allowed to collect troves of our data—and our kids’ data—unchecked.    CLICK HERE for coverage of how APRA establishes strong data privacy protections for people of every age in every state. CLICK HERE to learn more about how APRA puts people in control of their data. CLICK HERE for how APRA will help small businesses grow and thrive.



Chair Rodgers Joins Chuck Todd to Discuss Section 230 Reform, Data Privacy, and TikTok

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined NBC News’s The Chuck ToddCast with host Chuck Todd. Chair Rodgers reflected on her time in Congress as well as her top priorities to rein in Big Tech, including Section 230 reform and the American Privacy Rights Act. On Section 230 Reform: “This is the moment. It's been an is sue before Congress for years, ever since Section 230 was put into place in 1996 in the Telecommunications Act. “The agreement for Big Tech—they weren't big at that time, because it was even before Google and Twitter and Facebook—was they were to moderate content, illegal, illicit in exchange for these liability protections. “It's just very different. They have broken trust. They are not doing what they are [supposed] to be doing under Section 230. “The courts have ruled in such a way that they have basically given them unlimited liability protections. “I believe that this is a time when we—Congress—must act to protect individuals online, to protect our personal privacy rights online. The Energy and Commerce Committee has been working on this for decades, and we have a bill. “We have the Section 230 bill, we have the American Privacy Rights Act that Senator Cantwell as the Chair of [Senate] Commerce has hammered out with me, and I believe that there is a sense among Members on both sides of the aisle that the American people know this needs to happen, and this is our moment.” On Protecting Americans Data from Big Tech: "Americans have no real understanding as to how much data is being collected. “Right now, there is no limit. So, tech companies, other companies, businesses are collecting unlimited amounts of data.” [...] “I think there's a growing concern among Americans that they are concerned about the amount of data, especially with AI, and this new world where there's going to be even larger data sets and computations. The individual is just going to get lost in that whole new world. That only increases the cry that we need to protect our identity online. “We need to have individual privacy rights online, and I can tell you that this is an issue at home. When I talk about it, it's one that gets the heads nodding.” [...] “[The American Privacy Rights Act] is protecting individuals, but especially our kids. Parents are very concerned about the amount of time that kids are spending online [...] The way that [the algorithms] are structured right now is to get your kids online, pull them in, and take them down destructive paths.” On Tech Companies Avoiding Responsibility: “That's where Section 230 comes into play, because they got the liability protections in exchange for this commitment that they would be moderating this content. “Now we know that they have established algorithms that have become really about keeping us online for profit. “There's this sense that they're putting their own profit ahead of what is best for us as a people, best for our children. “We passed the TikTok bill earlier this year, and the President signed it into law, forcing the divestiture of TikTok. “When we passed that bill, we weren't sure what the outcry was going to be, because people said, 'Oh, it's so popular...all these kids...177 million Americans', and yet there hasn't been this overwhelming outcry from the users. “I think it is because, in our heart of hearts, a lot of people know that something needed to take place.” On Protecting Americans from Applications Controlled by Foreign Adversaries, like TikTok: “The bill targeted TikTok, but it also targets other apps that would be controlled by foreign adversaries.” [...] “We defined [foreign adversary] as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.” [...] “You remember the previous administration had attempted to force TikTok to divest because of the national security concerns, and the courts had ruled that they didn't have the authority to do that. “So, there was a sense that Congress needed to act to clarify that there are laws on the books for foreign ownership, yet the CFIUS laws and the other laws were not covering these apps. They're relatively new. “So, I believe that a targeted approach was important, but Members on both sides of the aisle were saying we need to address the [conduct of] technology companies that are headquartered in the United States of America. “We need a privacy standard in the United States of America. We need to protect our kids online. “There was this drumbeat that was certainly a part of that debate.”  On Who Should Control Americans Data: “Well, ultimately, you should have control over your data.” [...] “The approach that I've taken in this proposal [the American Privacy Rights Act ] is to put into law a privacy right. I know there's this debate around ownership and if they should have to pay the individual. “We're putting into law a privacy right, so that a company, or any kind of a business entity that's collecting data, can collect only [data] for their business, for their service. “You would have a right to know what that profile is. “This is called data minimization. “So, we minimize the amount of data that they can collect, and then anything beyond that, you would have to opt-in.” On Minimizing the Data Companies can Collect on Individuals: “We need a reset. We need to reset the internet to empower the individual. “So now what this would do is reset where the individual will have a right to know what the profile is and make sure it's actually an accurate profile. “Then, if your data is being sold, you're notified of that. So, it puts the burden on the business, the tech company, to actually notify you, and if you don't want your data to be sold, if you don't want it to be transferred, if you don't want them to know your location, then you can opt-out of that. “Right now, it's notice and consent, and that is the way it currently operates. “We're doing a reset to data minimization, and it puts the individual in charge of their data.” On Stopping the Collection of Children’s Data: “There's other laws that compliment this privacy law that you hear about: KOSA, the Kids Online Safety Act, COPPA, Children Online Privacy Protection Act , Section 230. I see them all as different pieces of what needs to happen to really do a reset to protect our identity online.” On Protecting Small Businesses: “Europe did pass a privacy law and I believe 80% of the world live in a country that has a privacy law in place. We don't. “[Europe’s data privacy bill] was put into place and it's very bureaucratic, it's very regulatory and it has is raised costs, especially the small businesses and the startups. “We want to make sure that [we support our small businesses]. “Part of Section 230 was to encourage liability protections for the small businesses and the startups, so that they can grow, and we have more competition.” [...] "We include a right to cure for businesses that, you know, so they would have a right to get it right. “If you're under 40 million, you're not included. If you're not selling data, you're not included in this. "It's only if you're actually in the business of collecting data and selling it to another entity that you would be [subject to the provisions of the American Privacy Rights Act]. CLICK HERE to listen to the full podcast. CLICK HERE to learn more about the American Privacy Rights Act.