Congress Considers Alternatives To Amending Section 230, Part III
FTC and FCC nominations advance to Senate; A fourth U.S. state close to passing privacy legislation
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This week, the United States (U.S.) House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee will hold the third in a series of hearings “focused on holding Big Tech accountable and follows a December Subcommittee hearing on several legislative proposals intended to build a safer, more transparent, and accountable internet ecosystem.” In the two previous posts this week (here and here), I looked at the two other substantive bills before the committee. Today’s edition is on the third substantive bill, the "Banning Surveillance Advertising Act of 2022" (H.R. 6416), legislation proposed by three of the committee’s subcommittee chairs. Health Subcommittee Chair Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Energy Subcommittee Chair Bobby Rush (D-IL).
As the name indicates, H.R.6416 would ban much of what is termed surveillance advertising, which means advertising targeted at individuals based on the immense amounts of data collected from a person, her devices, and other sources. Some forms of advertising would still be legal, namely those based on searches or websites used by people. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would enforce the new ban, be able to seek and obtain civil fines, and be able to litigate on its own behalf, a feature rarely found in bills expanding the agency’s authority. There would also be a private right of action with tiered liability for companies that violate the new ban on surveillance advertising.