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

  • Electronic Government Services Act Final

    Electronic Government Services Act Summary While the continued development of information technology and the proliferation of the Internet has permitted government agencies to make more efficient the necessary transactions between citizens and the government, it has also blurred the lines between commercial activities and appropriate governmental functions. The “Electronic …

  • Neutrality and Integrity in Software Procurement Act Final

    Neutrality and Integrity in Software Procurement Act Summary This Act amends the state’s procurement rules to preserve choice, competition, and integrity in the state’s selection and installation of software products. It requires that software procurement decisions made by the state consider: (1) the total cost of ownership during the …

  • Resolution Supporting Pro Consumer Public Policy for Voice, Video, and Data Services Final

    Resolution Supporting Pro Consumer Public Policy for Voice, Video, and Data Services Summary This Resolution offers support for minimal federal, state, and local regulation of broadband networks, specifically regarding voice, video and data services. The Resolution recognizes that government, through regulation, tends to get in the way …

  • Online Bidding Act Final

    Online Bidding Act Summary This Act would allow public agencies to use on-line, electronic bidding as a means of obtaining bids from vendors for the procurement of goods, services, construction and information services. Model Policy Section 1. {Title} This Act may be cited as the “On-line Bidding Act.” Section …

  • Principles on Online Privacy Final

    Principles on Online Privacy The American Legislative Exchange Council acknowledges that a market environment is essential for future success of the Internet. The proposed set of policies accounts for new technologies and tools that effectively empower consumers to protect their privacy. A consumer and private-sector-driven approach via self-regulation avoids …

  • Principles on Municipal/Government Owned Networks Final

    The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) recognizes the importance of the widespread deployment of advanced communications services. For the vast majority of citizens, these services are provided by private sector entities, consistent with ALEC’s core principles of limited government, free markets and federalism. In some limited instances, municipalities or their …

+ 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 …