Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement after the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect on January 1, 2020:

“With California’s comprehensive privacy law going into effect, the failure of the federal government to lead on privacy – and on related issues of consumer protection and competition online – has come into even sharper focus. We have seen not only the key federal regulator, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), continually stumble, and state Attorneys General increasingly filling the void, but we have also seen Congress unable to step up and put in place much-needed guardrails to ensure user privacy and data are protected.

“Poll after poll shows Americans growing increasingly concerned with the privacy and security of their data, feeling a loss of control over their data, communications, and online interactions. For over two decades, the U.S. has maintained a laissez-faire approach to technology governance, and only in the last couple of years  have policymakers initiated a long-overdue conversation regarding online privacy, business practice transparency and fairness, and online trust.

“Congress can no longer sit idly by in this data privacy debate. Over the last year, I have unveiled a range of bipartisan bills to put consumers back in control, in the hope that these proposals would be incorporated into comprehensive privacy legislation my colleagues have been working on. These bipartisan bills range from legislation that would prohibit manipulative and deceptive design practices often used to trick consumers into unfair and invasive terms of service; legislation that would provide consumers full transparency on the types of data being collected, its uses, and the value of that data to service-providers; and legislation that, building on CCPA and GDPR, would make user data portable to competing providers – while also making dominant providers support interoperability and consumer use of third-party ‘privacy managers.’

“These issues cannot be addressed on a state-by-state basis. Instead we need comprehensive federal legislation, which addresses not only privacy but a range of related consumer protection and competition issues, to afford all Americans the protections they deserve.”

Sen. Warner is recognized as one of Congress’ leading voices in an ongoing public debate around social media and user privacy. In the Senate, Sen. Warner has written and introduced a series of bipartisan bills designed to protect consumers and promote competition in social media. The Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight And Regulations on Data (DASHBOARD) Act will require data harvesting companies such as social media platforms to tell consumers and financial regulators exactly what data they are collecting from consumers, and how it is being leveraged by the platform for profit.? The Deceptive Experiences To Online Users Reduction (DETOUR) Act will prohibit large online platforms from using deceptive user interfaces, known as “dark patterns” to trick consumers into handing over their personal data. The Honest Ads Act will help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. The Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act is a bipartisan legislation to encourage market-based competition to dominant social media platforms by requiring the largest companies to make user data portable – and their services interoperable – with other platforms, and to allow users to designate a trusted third-party service to manage their privacy and account settings, if they so choose.