May 8, 2017
- FCC Insures Consistent Privacy Protections
- Tax Reform in Lawmaker’s Sights
- AAF Day on the Hill a Success
FCC Action Insures Consistent Privacy Protections
On April 3, 2017, President Donald Trump signed a congressional resolution preventing the Federal Communications Commission from implementing broadband privacy rules approved under the previous administration.
rules, applicable only to Internet Service Providers, would have
expanded the definition of “sensitive data” to include web browsing and
application use data when linked to a device alone. Sensitive data
requires a consumer’s opt-in to use or share. This would have been a
significant departure from accepted industry practice and customer
expectation that the collection and use of web viewing and application
use data for advertising purposes is subject to an opt-out choice.
Because the rules also would have applied only to ISPs, they would have
been held to a different standard than the rest of the Internet
ecosystem. In essence, consumers would have been bombarded by requests
for consent any time an ISP tried to deliver an interest based
AAF and many of our industry allies opposed the Commission’s original adoption of the rules and filed petitions urging the FCC to reconsider the rules.
While those petitions were pending, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Congressman Marsha Blackburn
(R-TN) introduced resolutions disapproving the rules. When the
resolution was passed and signed by the President, the FCC’s rules were
repealed and the agency was barred from issuing "substantially similar"
rules in the future.
Consumers still enjoy substantial protections through the Federal Trade Commission’s
longstanding and ongoing enforcement of tough privacy standards,
particularly for personally identifiable sensitive information.
Consumers also receive substantial protection through the industry’s
self-regulatory program, the Digital Advertising Alliance.
the President and Congress’ action, many state legislators have
introduced legislation to close the perceived gap in privacy
protections. AAF has joined with many of our industry colleagues to
explain to lawmakers that consumer privacy protection remains strong and
that a patchwork of inconsistent state laws governing the Internet
would be unworkable and ill serve both consumers and industry. To date,
letters have been sent to state lawmakers in Alaska, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Tax Reform in Lawmaker’s Sights
Congressional leaders and President Trump have stated their goal of enacting major tax reform numerous times this year.
President recently released the broad outline of his tax plan, but with
very few specifics. The plan would reduce both corporate and personal
income tax rates. The top corporate rate would drop from 35% to 15%.
While personal tax deductions would be limited to mortgage interest and
charitable contributions, the outline offers no specifics on corporate
deductions. The outline does not include the Border Adjustment Tax that
is the centerpiece of the House Republicans Better Way Blueprint.
has not been targeted in either of these plans and AAF and the
Advertising Coalition are working had to insure that the business tax
deduction for advertising expenses remains off the table. Congressmen Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) have authored a letter defending the advertising deduction
which has been cosigned by 124 members of Congress and sent to House
Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and members of the
Ways and Means tax writing committee. Many of those members were
encouraged to sign by AAF members who attended the March 30, 2017
Advertising Day on the Hill event.
Some state lawmakers also
considered advertising as a source of revenue. AAF is working with local
members and the industry to monitor possible ad tax threats in
Connecticut, Louisiana and West Virginia.
AAF Day on the Hill a Success
On March 30, 2017 nearly 80 AAF members from 26 states and the District of Columbia gathered together in Washington, DC for AAF’s Advocacy & Action: Advertising Day on the Hill.
Attendees heard from important members of key Congressional Committees,
the Federal Trade Commission as well as issue experts discussing tax
policy and the advertising tax deduction, privacy and multiculturalism.
the morning briefing, these members of AAF’s grassroots force conducted
close to 100 meetings with Senators, Representatives and their
legislative staff to discuss advertising issues and the industry’s
importance to the economy and job creation. One of the topics of
discussion was the Yoder-Engel letter defending the advertising tax
deduction. Many Representatives credited these meetings as reaffirming
their decision to sign the letter.
View attendees posts, pics and comments from #AdDayOnTheHill on Instagram, and Facebook.
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The AAF protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities. Our nation-wide network monitors advertising-related legislation on local, state and federal levels. We put our members face-to-face with influential lawmakers while encouraging self-regulation as a preemptor to government intervention, when appropriate of course. To learn more about our advocacy efforts, click here.