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Comments at the CPPA Special Board Meeting on federal privacy legislation, including ADPPA

California Privacy Rights Act of 2020, and a yell image of a lock with the state of California on it in dark green

The California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) had a public special board meeting today to discuss the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), a federal consumer privacy bill that would override California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).  Pass the popcorn!  

Here were my comments, more or less – I edited a bit on the fly, so this might not be 100% accurate.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment today, for all of CCPA's contributions to the discussions about ADPPA, and to Ms Mahoney for her outstanding work.  I'm Jon Pincus, a technologist and entrepeneur. I lived in California for years, and may well move back there in the future, but currently live in Bellevue, Washington.

I support the first two motions, and ask you to strengthen the third to authorize agency staff to support a federal bill that doesn't preempt CPRA *AND* that in general creates a floor that CA and other states can build on in the future.

As you highlight, the preemption clause not only eliminates existing state laws like CPRA, and local laws like Seattle's Broadband Privacy Ordinance, it also puts a ceiling on future protections.  Washington's Attorney General opposes premption as well. So does Washington People's Privacy and grassroots activists across the state.

As Ms. de la Torre highlighted, the threats to privacy in a post-Roe world highlight what's at stake. Here's how Kim Clark of Seattle non-profit Legal Voice described ADPPA in a Spokane Spokesman-Review article earlier this week,

“This bill, at least from the perspective of pregnant people, it really doesn’t do much.”

ADPPA's preemption would prevent states like ours, who *do* value privacy, from doing more, and providing stronger protections.

And as Ms. Morales pointed out, the same ADPPA loopholes and exemptions that make it easy for so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" to share data with vigilantes and law enforcement in states that criminalize abortion also allow targeting of immigrants, LGBTAIQ+ people, unhoused people, people receiving state benefits, and all the other groups who are most impacted by surveillance and data abuse.  Preemption stops our states from protecting them as well.

ADPPA does have some very good features -- including some that could help inform future legislation in California and elsewhere. Even so, and even if all the issues CCPA and EFF and ACLU and others have identified with ADPPA were somehow magically addressed, preemption would still be a problem. Technology changes quickly, so we need the ability to strengthen protections. States can do that more quickly and effectively than Congress. As Louis Brandeis said, states are the laboratories of democracy. And as a tech leader, California is particularly well placed to do that.

So thank you again for fighting for privacy rights of people in California -- and all across the country.