July 20, 2022
Dear Representatives Pallone, Schakowsky, McMorris Rodgers and Bilirakis,
Internet for Growth is a coalition of small businesses and online creators across the United States who depend on digital advertising and the ad-supported internet to succeed in the modern economy. Our members, who include artists, retailers, healthcare providers, marketing professionals and more, need a federal data privacy law that simplifies a growing patchwork of state laws making it more difficult to reach customers and conduct business on a national scale. We were hopeful the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) would be the solution we need and have offered personal stories from your constituents to help the House Energy and Commerce Committee improve the bill, but sadly Congress has moved in the wrong direction.
Instead of improving the bill, recent changes increase the likelihood that national privacy legislation would be worse than the current status quo, jeopardizing critical advertising, marketing and promotional tools that saved small businesses during the pandemic. Last year was a record year for business start-ups. In fact, the latest research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) shows that the ad-supported internet represents 12% of total U.S. GDP, and small businesses represent the largest share of internet-dependent jobs. Not only does the ADPPA threaten to reverse progress we have made over the past few years, but the bill also threatens decades of economic and technological progress the ad-supported internet has helped to create.
In today’s digital economy, businesses and consumers discover one another online, conduct e-commerce, and together help to grow jobs and the U.S. economy. However, vague definitions of data and broad restrictions on targeted advertising in the ADPPA threaten to sap the lifeblood from the market for information that also courses through Main Street. It’s difficult to predict the ways this sweeping legislation could affect technologies that have become ubiquitous, including websites, marketing systems, email platforms, social media and more.
Our coalition is eager to offer our members’ perspectives as you and your colleagues work to improve the ADPPA. We support a federal privacy law to simplify unclear and competing state laws, enhance consumer data protection and preserve the ability of innovators and entrepreneurs to realize their dreams with digital advertising and marketing. Unfortunately, the ADPPA as it currently stands will make it harder for them to succeed.
Executive Director, Internet for Growth
cc: House Energy & Commerce Committee
Internet for Growth, an initiative of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, supports the transformative role the advertising- supported internet plays in empowering America’s small businesses, helping entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. Supported by a diverse community of over 700 IAB members including marketers, agencies, publishers, platforms and ad tech providers, as well as hundreds of small businesses and creators, we highlight the benefits the internet delivers to local economies, expanding opportunities for innovators to reach markets far beyond their neighborhoods. Our work ensures people understand the limitless opportunity the internet provides for creativity and commerce, fair competition, and connecting with consumers on mutually shared values and interests, no matter the background or geography.