EPIC Testifies in Support of Massachusetts Data Privacy and Protection Act
October 23, 2023
EPIC Deputy Director Caitriona Fitzgerald testified before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Economic Development & Emerging Technologies and Joint Committee on Advanced IT, the Internet, and Cybersecurity in support of H. 83/S. 25, An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Data Privacy and Protection Act. The bill is modeled on the American Data Privacy and Privacy Act (“ADPPA”).
“For more than two decades, powerful tech companies have been allowed to set the terms of our online interactions,” Fitzgerald told the Committee in written testimony. “Without any meaningful restrictions on their business practices, they have built systems that invade our private lives, spy on our families, and gather the most intimate details about us for profit. But it does not have to be this way – we can have a strong technology sector while protecting personal privacy.”
Unfortunately, Congress failed to enact ADPPA last session, but state legislators can now take advantage of the outcome of those negotiations by modeling a state bill on the bipartisan consensus language in ADPPA. EPIC crafted the State Data Privacy and Protection Act to provide that opportunity. Massachusetts is one of a number of states considering legislation based on ADPPA.
At the hearing, Fitzgerald said, “This is about so much more than avoiding creepy ads — commercial surveillance systems fuel algorithms that dictate the content we see, shaping our entire information ecosystem, they determine the interest rates on mortgages and credit cards, or decide who gets a job, often perpetuating structural inequalities.” (video here.)