Farragut Partners LLP Hired to Lobby DOC and NTIA

October 28, 2022

pictured is a young child looking at a computer monitor at home

21st Century Privacy Coalition has Spent 960,000 USD

Author Erin Gerhart

The American Date Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) passed from the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this summer, but has been stagnant since despite the bipartisan support. The ADPPA (H.R 8152) was drafted to address longstanding concerns of large tech companies handling and mishandling personal data. In particular, the act addresses restricting data collection, and the process and transfer of personal data to the minimum required for that product or service. It also generally prohibits the transfer of personal data without express approval by the consumer and discrimination based on the data collected. Specific and more limiting restrictions are included for children and it requires companies to provide consumers the the ability to opt out of targeted advertising. While large tech companies are the primary, these regulations would also apply to non-profits and common carriers so long as they collect demographic or private consumer data. Some of the consumer data protections include the consumer’s right to access, correct, and delete personal data. Companies are also responsible for implementing their own security measures to protect and secure personal data from unauthorized access. While not set in stone, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may develop and issue regulations to standardize this requirement. Enforcement is the responsibility of the FTC as well as the states attorney general. 

National Telecommunications and Information Administration is responsible for developing policies on issues like copyright protection, online privacy, cybersecurity, and the free flow of information online.  

 21st Century Privacy Coalition (21st Century) was formed by American communications companies and trade associations in an effort to push for stricter data security. In 2021, 21st Century spent over one million USD and are following this trend into 2022, having spent 960,000 USD so far. They hired Farragut Partners LLP (Farragut) for a sum of 190,000 USD and recently released a fourth quarter report. Farragut has been hired by twenty-two clients so far this year for a sum of 4,920,000 USD and their lobbying expertise covers a vast swatch from animal wellness to oncology to equal rights. Eight lobbyists are mentioned in association with this report including Edward Whitfield, Jeff Mackinnon, Sarah Walter, and Jody Gale. 

Online Safety for Teens and Children

Two bills have been proposed specific to the protection of children and minors online activity and privacy. S. 1628, the Children and Teens Online Privacy and Protection Act, and S.3663, the Kids Online Safety Act, both aim to reduce any potential for online harm to those under the age of seventeen. The former act extends the privacy protections to those under the age of seventeen, where it had been twelve. It also prohibits the operator of a website, online service or application, or mobile application ended for children from collecting any personal data without meeting the following conditions: providing notice and obtaining consent, providing a parent or guardian with specific information on request, conditioning participation on data collection, and establishing and maintaining reasonable security measures for any data collected. The bill also sets out guidelines of operation for data collection and use when it comes to minors and their parents. The second act, S. 3663, establishes requirements for platforms that connect to the internet and are likely to be used by minors to protect them from potential online harm. It states such platforms must act with the child’s best interest at the forefront and that they must provide certain safeguards to reduce the chance of online exploitation. Those sites must additionally provide parents a means or tool by which to monitor the minor’s account including privacy settings. Finally, covered platforms must permit parents and minors to report certain harms, not facilitate advertisements that are illegal for children, and report annually the risks posed to minors on their platform. 

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