On Wednesday morning, data privacy experts appeared to offer testimony before the Senate committee, which has oversight of the Federal Trade Commission, the enforcement agency for consumer privacy and information security protections. The hearing comes amid mounting demands for strong, nationwide standards.

While telecom lobbyists wined and dined Wicker on Tuesday, public advocacy groups and two Democrats on the committee, Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.) and Tom Udall (N.M.), announced a briefing about the “ever-growing online threat to their privacy, welfare, and civil rights,” which set to take place on Capitol Hill next week.

Participants in the Monday afternoon briefing will include members of the Privacy and Digital Rights for All coalition, which has introduced the Framework for Comprehensive Privacy Protection And Digital Rights (pdf). The group’s primary demands for Congress are:

  1. Enact baseline federal legislation;
  2. Enforce fair information practices;
  3. Establish a data protection agency;
  4. Ensure robust enforcement;
  5. Establish algorithmic governance to advance fair and just data practices;
  6. Prohibit “take it or leave it” terms;
  7. Promote privacy innovation; and
  8. Limit government access to personal data.

Outlining the current threats to the public, the framework document explains that “digital giants invade our private lives, spy on our families, and gather our most intimate facts for profit. Bad actors, foreign and domestic, target the personal data gathered by U.S. firms, including our bank details, email messages, and Social Security Numbers.”

“Our privacy laws are decades out of date,” it concludes. “We urgently need a new approach to privacy protection.”

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