scotus decision

SIIA Statement: SCOTUS decision on Texas HB20

The following statement can be attributed to Jeff Joseph, President, Software & Information Industry Association in response to today’s SCOTUS decision on Texas HB20:

We are gratified by the Supreme Court’s decision today in reinstating the trial court’s injunction. Upholding the Fifth Circuit would have required a wholesale revision of bedrock First Amendment law. Social media platforms have a First Amendment right to moderate content disseminated on their platforms.HB20 would have compelled platforms to disseminate objectionable content. Issues with such far-reaching consequences deserve a full hearing and a developed record before being ruled on, which is what the Court has prescribed.

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SIIA: Revised Antitrust Bill Fails to Correct Fatal Flaws, Will Hurt U.S. Economy

This statement can be attributed to Jeff Joseph, President, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA):

The revised American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S2992) is still fatally flawed. The bill, as written, threatens national security, weakens cybersecurity, erodes privacy protections, and diminishes consumer welfare. The bill goes against long-standing American principles regarding antitrust, creating a new standard based on corporate size instead of perceived harm, which will chill investment and innovation and have downstream impacts on our nation’s tech ecosystem and economy at a time of increased global competition for leadership in technology.

Without so much as a substantive hearing, the concerns expressed by many have been ignored in the rush to push this flawed legislation with little regard for regular legislative processes at a time when our nation faces far more pressing concerns.

A recent survey shows that only 3% of respondents think that antitrust regulation of tech companies is an important issue and that 57% of Americans would be less likely to vote for a Member of Congress who hinders access to tech services.

Striking the right balance between the many interests at stake here requires careful deliberation, not a rushed process. The stakes are no less than continued U.S. leadership in innovation. We cannot afford to get this wrong.

school statement

Statement on: The Importance of Protecting the Privacy of Student Personal Information

The following statement can be attributed to Sara Kloek, Vice President, Education and Children’s Policy, Software & Information Industry Association:

The ed tech industry strongly supports efforts to expand opportunities for students to learn and access information, and to help ensure protection of student privacy within the walls of the classroom and when learning remotely. We appreciate the efforts of privacy advocates, researchers, regulators, and journalists over the years to continue to hold industry accountable as the ways students learn continues to evolve. We are proud of efforts across the industry to meet this critical responsibility.

A new report from Human Rights Watch shines light on the importance of protecting the privacy of student personal information. There is a strong framework of laws in the United States that provides the guardrails for technology provider protections on student data privacy, including a ban on targeted advertising to students. While we applaud the intentions of the report, our review of some of the findings reflects potentially meaningful flaws in HRW’s methodology. For example, in some cases HRW analyzed customer-facing websites designed for adults instead of the educational platforms used by students. In those cases, the educational products that students use did not actually include the trackers and cookies outlined in the report.

We urge HRW to reexamine the basis for the findings in the report and issue an amended report that accurately reflects the practices and use of ed tech products. We remain committed to supporting meaningful efforts to ensure that all students have access to educational tools designed to help each individual learner succeed while continuing to uphold our responsibility to protect children’s privacy.

dei assn 100

SIIA President Jeff Joseph Featured on The Association 100 DEI Podcast

This week SIIA President Jeff Joseph joins the Association 100 podcast and introduces SIIA’s newest member benefit — a brand new microsite dedicated to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI):  Listen to this podcast and hear Jeff share insights on how associations can take a thoughtful approach to DEI; promote better outcomes and how associations can differentiate themselves providing helpful resources for members. He dives into how associations can make an impact; what’s going to add the most valuable to members and how to grow business.

He also talks about looking inward and “walking the walk” as an association by welcoming a diversity of viewpoints in the workforce. To hear this full interview, please visit A Thoughtful Approach to DEI.


SIIA Provides Input on Colorado Privacy Act (CPA) to Inform Pre-Rulemaking Session

In a letter to Attorney General Weiser, SIIA highlighted the following points that we believe would make the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA) stronger in its implementation:

  • Publicly available information. Many of our members depend on information in the public domain. The current version of the CPA does not appropriately address free speech concerns in its attempt to exempt publicly available information from the definition of personal data. We recommend a definition that adds widely available media – a defined phrase that clearly exempts the republication of information in databases of newspapers, and in unrestricted social media feeds – in addition to information released by the government, which is part of the existing statutory definition.
  • Amend the language to strengthen consumer rights and freedoms. Without this language, covered entities will lack the necessary flexibility to consider when the fulfillment of an individual request may infringe on the privacy of others, especially in circumstances when devices are shared by more than one individual. Other states like Virginia and California take an approach to remedy this problem.
  • Add accommodation for infeasible consumer requests. We recommend Colorado include additional guidelines in statute to denote action taken by data controllers, in the event of technically infeasible or unfounded consumer requests, in an effort to harmonize consumer requests with business compliance.
  • Clarify provisions categorized as “sensitive data”. We recommend clarifying the definition of sensitive data to ensure that consumers and businesses are aligned on the expectations for how sensitive data is treated.
    • First, the Colorado bill should include a clear and concise definition of biometric data. We recommend aligning with the definition of biometric data in Virginia’s privacy law to avoid confusion in practical application of the definition and help in the implementation of the Colorado bill, while avoiding costly implementation challenges.
    • Second, we recommend that the Colorado bill clarify that sensitive data includes data collected from a child, rather than more generally about a child. This change would help the bill to focus on the issue of concern without leading to implementation challenges ancillary to children’s data.

You can read more in the full letter.