US Online Data Trade Groups spin digital fairy tale to USTR about US Consumer Privacy Prowess--CDD Says Privacy Out of Bounds in TTIP

Today, the United States Trade Representatives convenes two days of hearings (see attached agenda) to help it formulate a negotiating policy for the forthcoming EU/U.S. trade pact—known as the Transatalantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). CDD is one of the consumer groups that has been asked to brief its Policy Staff Committee.

A number of U.S. industry groups, including the “Digital Trade Coalition” (Sidley & Austin) and the Coaltion for Privacy & Free Trade (Hogan Lovells)—in what illustrates how healthy fiction writing is at some law firms—paint a picture of a robust system protecting privacy here (we’ve attached those comments to USTR as well because they are worth reviewing to illustrate what the online data lobby agenda is). These coalitions want the U.S. to seek a trade deal that would allow our ineffective privacy regime to be considered “interoperable” with the EU’s human rights and civil liberties robust approach. As we will explain later today, the U.S. is just at the very beginning in its efforts to protect consumer privacy in the digital era—hampered by many of the very forces these business coalitions represent. A number of U.S. online data companies, for example, are even unwilling to support even a modest Do Not Track standard, or stronger rules to protect youth, let alone serious privacy legislation.

Consumer and privacy groups which are also members of the Transatantlic Consumer Dialogue will also speak on the TTIP, including on its impact on health, food safety, IP and other issues.