EPIC to Congress: Create a U.S. Data Protection Agency
July 28, 2020
In advance of a hearing on "Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 6: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google," where the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google will testify, EPIC told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust that the U.S. needs a Data Protection Agency. EPIC told lawmakers that merger review must consider data protection. "The United States stands virtually alone in its unwillingness to address privacy as an increasingly important dimension of competition in the digital marketplace," EPIC said. EPIC pointed to the Facebook-WhatsApp deal and the failure of the FTC to protect the personal data of WhatsApp users after the merger. EPIC noted that if the FTC approves Google's acquisition of Fitbit, it will be the 230th firm that Google/Alphabet has acquired "with little action from U.S. antitrust regulators." EPIC also urged the Subcommittee to hold a hearing on H.R. 4978, the Online Privacy Act. EPIC's recent report, Grading on a Curve: Privacy Legislation in the 116th Congress, sets out the key elements of a modern privacy law, including federal baseline legislation and the creation of a Data Protection Agency.