Latest AAF Government Affairs Report

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Here is the latest from Clark Rector, Senior Vice President, AAF National.

California Consumer Privacy Act Update

California legislators continue to consider legislation to implement the California Consumer Privacy Act by the January 1, 2020, deadline. Concurrently, advertising industry representatives are working with lawmakers to ensure the final law and regulations will not unnecessarily hamper businesses ability to responsibly use data to help market products and services to California consumers.

The situation remains fluid with changes occurring on a seemingly daily basis. Legislative leaders hope to have all changes finalized before their summer recess begins on July 12, with final votes occurring when they return in August.

Texas Enacts Privacy Law

Prior to adjourning for the year, the Texas legislature passed legislation that strengthens notification requirements in the event of a data breach affecting sensitive personal information. The new law also creates the Texas Privacy Protection Advisory Council which is charged with studying the privacy laws in Texas and other jurisdictions and making recommendations about prospective changes to Texas law. AAF will monitor the actions of the Council once it has been formed and provide comments and take other action as appropriate.

Federal “Do Not Track” Bill Introduced

Multiple federal privacy bills have been introduced, including a recent one by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., that would establish a Do Not Track registry for online data collection similar to the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call list which allows people to say they do not want to receive telemarketing calls. The bill would allow consumers to opt out of companies collecting data beyond what is “necessary” for the services to run.

As has been reported in previous newsletters, AAF is supportive of the enactment of a national privacy standard. We joined in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission supporting the concept and have been participating in meetings of the Privacy for America Coalition, consisting of with many allied associations and companies, to flesh out the specifics of what a national privacy law might look like. In general, AAF and our allies support legislation that would

  • Protect consumers nationwide
  • Establish new prohibitions on certain data practices, including eligibility, discrimination, assisting and facilitating fraud, and sensitive data
  • Create a New Data Protection Bureau at the Federal Trade Commission
  • Grant enhanced rulemaking authority to the FTC
  • Ensure responsible advertising practices
  • Require strong data security protections, and
  • Authorize strict penalties for violations.

AAF will continue to work with our industry members and partners to advocate for a strong national privacy law that protects both consumers and industry.

AAF Supports Adequate Funding for Census

Recognizing that a reliable demographic information about the U.S. population is critical for advertising and business, in addition to governmental representation and operations, the AAF has joined other leading business organizations on a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees asking for sufficient funding for the upcoming 2020 census.  Accurate information is essential so that advertisers can make informed decisions when allocating marketing resources.

HHS Requires DTC Price Disclosure

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has enacted a rule requiring that direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medications include the whole acquisition cost (WAC or list price). Three pharmaceutical companies and the ANA have challenged the rule on free speech grounds. AAF shares the concerns that compelled speech violates the First Amendment. We also believe that the information is likely to cause confusion since few patients pay the list cost since the majority is covered by insurance or government health programs. The suit seeks a declaratory judgment invalidating the rule, which is due to go into effect in July. No matter the ruling of the initial court, an appeal by the losing side seems likely. AAF will considering weighing in with an amicus brief if and when such action is appropriate.

The AAF protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities. Our nation-wide network monitors advertising-related legislation on local, state and federal levels. We put our members face-to-face with influential lawmakers while encouraging self-regulation as a preemptor to government intervention, when appropriate of course. To learn more about our advocacy efforts, click here.

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