Pallone Opening Remarks at Full Committee Markup of Six Consumer Protection Bills
Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) delivered the following opening remarks today at a full Committee markup of the American Data Privacy and Protection Act and five other consumer protection and commerce bills:
The Committee will consider six bipartisan bills today that will protect consumers and help strengthen the economy. Notably, we’ll consider the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, the first comprehensive national privacy legislation with bipartisan, bicameral support. Today’s markup is another milestone towards our ultimate goal of enacting meaningful national privacy legislation.
Before moving to privacy, we will consider several other consumer protection bills – on issues ranging from consumer product safety to bolstering American manufacturing.
The Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act, standardizes remote online notarization, which has become particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Informing Consumers About Smart Devices Act will ensure that internet-connected devices tell people before they record them. The RANSOMWARE Act requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report on cross border ransomware and other cyber-related attacks.
We’ll also consider Reese’s Law to protect children from ingesting button cell and coin batteries. The legislation is named after Reese Hamsmith, an 18-month-old child who tragically died after ingesting a button cell battery. Next, the Manufacturing.gov Act will establish a primary online location for information on federal manufacturing programs.
Finally, we’ll conclude with the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, legislation that will protect Americans from data practices that undermine their privacy and security online. This bill is needed to limit the excesses of Big Tech and ensure all Americans can safely navigate the digital world. It includes a strong national standard using a data minimization framework to help ensure companies are limited in what they collect, process, and transfer in the first place.
This legislation protects children by prohibiting companies, including social media platforms from targeting kids with harmful advertising. A new Youth Privacy and Marketing Division at the FTC will have the sole mission of protecting young people and will be staffed with experts in youth development.
The legislation will also help protect women in abusive relationships by giving them control over their personal information, limiting the data available for their aggressors to exploit, and regulating shady data brokers that too often provide the means to carry out this type of abuse.
It also ensures that protected classes, including people of color, are not discriminated against in trying to find housing, applying for a loan, looking for a job, or being offered any goods and services.
This legislation is our best hope at protecting Americans privacy and data security, while also providing certainty to American businesses. I want to thank Ranking Member Rodgers, Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Schakowsky, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Bilirakis for their unwavering commitment to getting us to this markup today. I also commend each of our members for their contributions and for their constructive feedback as we have worked through the Committee process. A special thanks to the staff – Jerry, David, Michele, Tim and Brannon – who have worked nonstop over the past couple of months on this bill.
I look forward to advancing all six of these bills today.