Key Points
  • ECPA standards must be clarified, providing stronger privacy protections for communications and associated data in response to changes in technology and new services and usage patterns, while preserving the legal tools necessary for government agencies to enforce the laws, respond to emergency circumstances and protect the public.
  • Federal privacy law must be reconciled with requests by fiduciaries and executors for access to digital assets of deceased person, resolving serious conflict of law and preemption questions for the states and privacy questions for users of online services. Policy must balance the interests of estate administrators, with the privacy of users with whom and about whom they have communicated.
  • State Departments of Education should make publicly available an inventory and index of all data elements with definitions of individual student data fields currently in the statewide longitudinal data system, create a data security plan, and ensure compliance with federal and state data privacy laws and policies.
  • Effective cybersecurity measures will build upon public-private partnerships, existing initiatives, and resources, emphasize risk management, focus directly on threats and bad actors and be capable of responding and rapidly adapting to new technologies, consumer preferences, business models, and emerging threats.

A market environment is essential for future success of the Internet. A consumer and private-sector-driven approach to privacy via self-regulation avoids undue regulatory burden that would threaten a thriving electronic marketplace.

The Internet has flourished due in large part to the unregulated environment in which it has developed and grown. Self-regulation, industry-driven standards, individual empowerment and a market environment generally promise greater future success than intrusive governmental regulation.  In order to secure the economic growth and vitality of the electronic marketplace, the private sector must continue to lead through self-regulation. Innovation, expanded services, broader participation, and lower prices will arise in a market-driven arena, not in an environment burdened by over-regulation.

The market has responded favorably and swiftly to consumer concerns regarding the collection and use of personal information.  Innovators have crafted tools that let users block cookies, advertising, the tracking of Internet surfing behavior, and third party sharing of information. The market is responding to consumer concerns, without burdensome government regulation. The most effective privacy policies provide notice, choice, security, and access. Online sites and services should be encouraged to offer more options along these lines and individuals should be free to select the policy that best fits their needs and take responsibility for their online activities.

Effective cybersecurity is essential for the proper function of government and continued growth of the economy in cyberspace.  However, cyber challenges could pose an existential threat to the U.S. economy, our national security apparatus and public health and safety.

Cyberspace’s owners include all who use it: consumers, businesses, governments, and infrastructure owners and operators. Cybersecurity measures must help these stakeholders to be aware of the risks to their assets, property, reputations, operations, and sometimes businesses, and better understand their important role in helping to address these risks. Industry should lead the way in sharing information with the appropriate government entities following an attack and collaborating with others in the private sector to share best practices.

Partnerships between government and industry have provided leadership, resources, innovation, and stewardship in every aspect of cybersecurity since the origin of the Internet. Cybersecurity efforts are most effective when leveraging and building upon these existing initiatives, investments, and partnerships.

Publications

  • 2013-03-20 Abuse-and-Misuse-of-Personal-Info-Final cover

    Abuse and Misuse of Personal Information

    Executive Summary: Advances in technology provide a number of useful products and services that can either enhance or threaten personal privacy, …
+ All Privacy and Security Publications

Model Policies

  • Statement of Principles for Telecommunications Tax Reform Final

    Statement of Principles for Telecommunications Tax Reform 1.  Taxes should be economically neutral and equitable. A tax is economically neutral, or efficient, if it does not induce taxpayers to change their behavior in response to the tax.  In other words, a taxpayer would make the same decision regardless of …

  • Six Principles for Communications and Technology Final

    Six Principles for Communications and Technology Summary The goal of this statement of principles is to provide policymakers with general guidance consistent with ALEC principles. The statement affirms ALEC’s mission to advance the principles of free markets in policy regarding communications and technology in the 21st century. This …

  • Resolution Opposing Government Involvement in Commercial Negotiations Final

    Resolution Opposing Government Involvement in Commercial Negotiations WHEREAS, it is the mission of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty, and WHEREAS, the American economy has been and continues to be among the most vibrant in the world, creating …

  • Resolution to Oppose Imposing Intermediary Liability on the Internet under State Laws Final

    WHEREAS, the State of [insert state name here] believes in the principles of free markets and limited government, and WHEREAS, those principles have allowed the Internet to flourish, transforming all aspects of our economy, society and politics, and WHEREAS, federalism in the digital era means that, while states have a …

  • Facilitating Business Rapid Response to State Declared Disaster Act Final

    Facilitating Business Rapid Response to State Declared Disaster Act Summary An Act to amend the public services law, state law and tax law, in relation to thresholds for establishing presence, residency or doing business in the state for out-of-state employees and businesses including affiliates of in-state businesses that temporarily provide resources …

  • Advanced Voice Services Availability Act of 2007 Final

    Advanced Voice Services Availability Act of 2007 Summary The purpose of this legislation is to promote the availability of competitive advanced voice services, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, to all consumers and businesses in [state] by establishing a common-sense regulatory framework that promotes choice and competition.

+ All Privacy and Security Model Policies

Task Forces

Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development

Members of the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force believe that economic freedom is the cornerstone of prosperity. The …

Health and Human Services

There is no sector of our economy where the hand of government is more evident than in health care. Half …

Communications and Technology

With nearly 200 members representing all parts of the country and every segment of industry, the Communications and Technology Task …