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Privacy Legislation: Building Blocks of Bipartisan Compromise

  • 325 Russell Senate Office Building (map)

Lawmakers are scrambling to draft federal privacy legislation that can attract bipartisan support and be enacted before California’s new privacy law goes into effect. But where should they start? Join TechFreedom on May 15 for an extraordinarily distinguished panel of experts who have long been involved in both sides of this debate, including appointees in past Democratic and Republican administrations who played key roles in privacy policy.

Our panel will discuss the building blocks of bipartisan compromise and how they fit together, including the FTC’s 2012 Privacy Report; the Obama Administration’s 2012 Privacy Bill of Rights and 2015 legislative draft; ongoing efforts by the Trump administration at the FTC, Commerce and NIST; and the impact state laws and international developments. Topics of discussion will include federalism and preemption, whether to supersede existing federal privacy laws, the FTC’s enforcement powers, information sensitivity and injury, algorithmic discrimination, the role of social media in our democracy, tradeoffs between specific privacy rules and more general and flexible standards, the role of multistakeholder processes, and the extent of any new rulemaking power the FTC might be given. Throughout, our focus will be on exploring concrete ways to implement bipartisan agreement.

Panelists will include:

  • Cameron Kerry, Visiting Fellow Brookings Institute and former General Counsel, Commerce Department (2009-13)

  • Danny Weitzner, Director and co-founder of the MIT CSAIL Decentralized Information Group and former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy (2011-12)

  • Lydia Parnes, Partner Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Privacy and Data Protection and former Director, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection (2004-2009)

  • Neil Chilson, Senior Research Fellow for Technology and Innovation at Charles Koch Institute, former Attorney Advisor to Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen (2014-17) and former Acting FTC Chief Technologist (2017-18)

  • Gerry Stegmaier, Partner Reed & Smith IP, Tech & Data Group

  • Berin Szóka, President, TechFreedom