NCTA — The Internet & Television Association


Protecting Personal Information

NCTA’s member companies are firmly committed to safeguarding our customers’ personal information. With more of our daily lives taking place online, consumers deserve consistency, control, and confidence when it comes to their personal information. NCTA and our member companies are calling for a technology neutral federal data privacy law that protects consumers while promoting responsible data uses. We urge Congress to enact such a privacy law that establishes a new framework for today’s digital economy.

NCTA CEO Michael Powell giving a speech
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A technology-neutral, federal framework of online consumer protection is a first step to restoring America’s faith in our digital future.”

Michael Powell, President & CEO, NCTA

Elements of a Federal Framework

A comprehensive federal privacy law would enable consumers to enjoy transparency, choice, and security with respect to how their data is handled, regardless of where they are or what product or service they are using. Federal legislation should accomplish, at the very least:


Align All Standards


Hold all parties doing business, both online and offline, to the same standards for how consumer personal data is used, shared, and protected


Put People at the Center


Empower consumers with simple ways to access and control the use of their personal data while preserving beneficial opportunities that lead to new innovations and customized services.


End the Confusion


Ensure that consumers are clear about how their data is being collected and used, and require all parties collecting data to take reasonable physical, technical, and administrative security measures to protect that data.


Centralize Administration and Enforcement


Codify the Federal Trade Commission’s role as the preeminent national agency that oversees privacy and enhance the FTC’s enforcement tools.

woman working on a laptop in a coffee shop

Now is the time for Congress to enact a national privacy policy that protects all Americans.

Why Does Online Privacy Matter to Consumers?

The Internet Doesn’t Stop at State Lines. Imagine someone lives in one state and works in another like the residents of the Chicago or Kansas City areas; or perhaps they live in California but ordered a pair of shoes from Texas. The way things work now, Americans’ privacy protections may change when they cross state lines, as they commute to work, or build an online business. With a federal law, location won’t dictate protection — Americans will covered uniformly.

Accountability Deters Bad Behavior. As it stands today, online privacy boils down to how much someone trusts each website they visit or app they download. With a federal law, all parties collecting data would play by the same rules enforceable by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Clear accountability, enforced by the long standing expertise of the FTC would deter bad behavior and encourage beneficial innovation.

Individuals Care About Their Customer Experience. Each individual has a different level of comfort when it comes to sharing personal information, be it online or offline. Some want to be as off-the-grid as possible while others appreciate a well targeted ad for a product for which they’ve been searching. People are already at the center of the online experience, a federal law would help to honor consumers’ choices and give them control.

people working on laptops and phones in an outdoor cafe