The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the digital trade body, supports federal regulation that will ensure consumers’ privacy and security are protected in interactive media, marketing, and commercial environments.

Appearing before a US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Randall Rothenberg, the IAB’s CEO, said the trade body and its members “stand ready to work with Congress” on legislation that benefits consumers and firms.

While the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and similar ideas being considered in states like Washington, aim to ensure greater oversight, they risk creating “a patchwork of conflicting and damaging state laws,” according to Rothenberg.

“These laws are well meaning, and I support their intended goals,” he acknowledged. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: IAB asks Congress for federal privacy act, eschewing “patchwork” of GDPR, CCPA clones.)

Such stipulations, however, have a downside, Rothenberg warned: “Elements of these proposals are reactive and risk stifling what should be understood as a uniquely American technological advantage.”

The IAB CEO also told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation that his preferred, consumer-focused orientation has legislative precedence at the federal level.

“Our model is the partnership between government and industry that created the modern concept of automotive safety in the 1960s,” asserted Rothenberg.

“Yes, the partnership began as a shotgun wedding. Yes, the auto industry resisted at first. But an undeniable consumer right – to be safe on the highways – met well-researched solutions, which the Congress embedded in well-crafted laws that were supported by the states. The result has been millions of lives and billions of dollars saved.

“We believe the analogy holds well here. Americans have a right to be secure on the information superhighway,” added Rothenberg. “Well-researched solutions and well-crafted laws can assure their ‘digital wellness.’

“We should be thorough, practical, and collaborative. Our goal should be to find the three, or five, or ten practices and mechanisms – the seat belts and airbags of the internet era – that companies can implement and consumers can easily adopt that will reinforce privacy, security, and trust.”

Sourced from WARC