WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, yesterday delivered remarks during the committee’s Executive Session. Wicker noted the need for comprehensive data privacy protection legislation and urged the committee to consider his bipartisan, bicameral American Data Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA).
Remarks as delivered:
Four years ago, a bipartisan group of members of this Committee formed a working group to discuss the continued need for a strong, uniform data privacy law in the United States to give Americans more control over their data and to protect their personal information from misuse and abuse. Since then I have introduced my own legislation, the Committee has held hearings on comprehensive data privacy as well as children’s data privacy, and we have worked with our House colleagues to draft a bipartisan bill.
I regret this Committee’s lack of progress on this very important issue. I am, however, pleased to see the House Energy and Commerce Committee continue to move forward on bipartisan privacy legislation that would enhance data protections for all Americans – children, teens, and adults. Just last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced the American Data Privacy Protection Act by a vote of 53-2. I urge this committee to take up that bipartisan legislation.
Included in the American Data Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA) are several provisions from the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act, a measure we will consider today.
While no legislation is perfect, the ADPPA represents a bipartisan, bicameral compromise that I believe has the best chance of reaching the President’s desk before the end of the year.
I appreciate all of the work that has gone into the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act, but the need for a national law that provides data protections for everyone must be this committee’s priority. For that reason, I cannot support this legislation today.
I applaud Senators Blumenthal and Blackburn for their bipartisan efforts on an important series of subcommittee hearings to address children’s safety as well as their well-being on social media platforms. The Kids Online Safety Act is a product of their work and a foundation for protecting children, particularly as COVID took many everyday activities online.
That said, although I appreciate the sponsors incorporating elements of my amendments into this legislation, more work needs to be done to tighten the scope of the bill, define key terms, and ensure that we avoid the creation of a patchwork of inconsistent or conflicting state laws governing the design and operation of covered platforms. I look forward to working with Senators Blackburn and Blumenthal to address these issues before advancing this legislation to the floor.
Click here to read the ranking member’s full opening statement.