View PDF of the letterhere.
Support a Comprehensive Consumer Privacy Law that Safeguards Civil Rights Online
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McConnell,
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the 57 undersigned civil rights, civil liberties, and consumer protection organizations, we write to urge Congress to pass comprehensive consumer privacy legislation during this session that prohibits data-driven discrimination and ensures that everyone has the right to equal opportunity on the internet. As advocates, industry, and stakeholders on all sides of the debate have made clear, now is the time to take up this critical issue.
Privacy rights are civil rights. Protecting privacy can help ensure that people’s identities and characteristics cannot be used against them unfairly. Strong legislation can secure for everyone the “inviolability of privacy” that is “indispensable to preservation of freedom of association.”Privacy legislation can empower communities of color and open doors for marginalized populations. It can also provide clarity to businesses and level the playing field for entrepreneurs.
There are many avenues to enacting comprehensive data protections. We believe that successful legislation would accomplish the following:
- Prohibit using personal data to discriminate on the basis of protected characteristics.
- Ensure that automated decision-making systems are tested for bias and other risks, especially in matters concerning housing, employment, education, credit, and public accommodations.
- Empower enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general and include a private right of action.
- Preserve state civil rights laws and other types of state laws that are important for the protection of consumers and marginalized communities.
- Require companies to minimize the data they collect and give clarity on permissible and impermissible data uses.
- Provide individuals the right to access, correct, and delete their personal data.
- Regulate the data broker industry.
- Create transparency mechanisms that are helpful to consumers and enable robust oversight, research, language accessibility, and accountability.
The time has come to enact a comprehensive consumer privacy law that safeguards civil rights online. We look forward to working with Congress on this essential task to protect everyone’s rights and create a more just and equitable society. Should you have any questions, please contact David Brody, managing attorney of the Digital Justice Initiative at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, email@example.com, or Anita Banerji, senior program director of media & tech at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
- The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Access Now
- African American Ministers In Action
- Alphabet Workers Union – CWA Local 1400
- American Atheists
- Arab American Institute
- Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC
- Autistic Self Advocacy Network
- Brennan Center for Justice
- Center for American Progress
- Center for Democracy & Technology
- Center for Digital Democracy
- Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law
- Color Of Change
- Common Cause
- Common Sense Media
- Communications Workers of America
- Consumer Action
- Consumer Federation of America
- Demand Progress
- Democracy Fund Voice
- Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
- Equal Rights Advocates
- Equality California
- Fight for the Future
- Free Press Action
- Human Rights Watch
- Impact Fund
- Japanese American Citizens League
- Media Alliance
- Muslim Advocates
- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)
- National Association of Consumer Advocates
- National Association of Social Workers
- National CAPACD- National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
- National Consumer Law Center
- National Consumers League
- National Fair Housing Alliance
- National Urban League
- National Women’s Law Center
- New America’s Open Technology Institute
- Oakland Privacy
- Open MIC (Open Media and Information Companies Initiative)
- Public Citizen
- Public Justice
- Public Knowledge
- Ranking Digital Rights
- Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Stop Online Violence Against Women Inc
- The Greenlining Institute
- United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry
- Wikimedia Foundation
NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449, 462 (1958).