Civil Society Organizations Urge Markup Delay for Privacy Bill, Restoration of Civil Rights Protections


June 25, 2024

Contact: Mariah Wildgen, [email protected]

Lacy Crawford, [email protected]

Allegra Harpootlian, [email protected]

More than 50 groups send letter to House Energy and Commerce leadership calling for postponement unless civil rights issues fixed

WASHINGTON — The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), joined by 53 other national organizations, urged House Energy and Commerce Committee leadership to postpone the upcoming markup of the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) and restore key civil rights protections and algorithmic auditing provisions. Without reversal, the groups urge against APRA moving forward.

The advocates stated: “Privacy rights and civil rights are no longer separate concepts — they are inextricably bound together and must be protected. Abuse of our data is no longer limited to targeted advertising or data breaches. Instead, our data are used in decisions about who gets a mortgage, who gets into which schools, and who gets hired — and who does not. All too often, those data-driven decisions come with discriminatory outcomes, which have been compounded as algorithmic technologies and AI have advanced at an unprecedented pace … A privacy bill that does not include civil rights protections will not meaningfully protect us from the most serious abuses of our data.”

The authors concluded with a call-to-action for lawmakers on the future of APRA: “The markup should be delayed so that greater stakeholder consultation can occur. If the civil rights provisions are not restored, the bill should not advance.”

In the letter addressed to House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R. Wash.) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D. N.J.), The Leadership Conference, Lawyers’ Committee, and ACLU were joined by the following organizations: Access Now, ADL (Anti-Defamation League), AFT, American Humanist Association, Arab American Institute, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, Athena Coalition, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network, Center for AI and Digital Policy, Center for American Progress, Center for Democracy & Technology, Center for Digital Democracy, Check My Ads, Color Of Change, Common Cause, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Data & Society, Defending Rights & Dissent, Demand Progress, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Fight for the Future, Filipina Women’s Network, Free Press Action, Government Information Watch, HTTP, Human Rights Campaign, Impact Fund, Japanese American Citizens League, Kapor Center, NAACP, National Association of Social Workers, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), National Consumer Law Center, National Council of Churches, National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), National Employment Law Project, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Health Law Program, National Urban League, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, New America’s Open Technology Institute, OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, Open MIC, People For the American Way, Public Knowledge, Reproaction, Rise Economy, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, TechEquity Action, UnidosUS , and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US.

The letter is available here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 240 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real.

For more than 100 years, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect the constitutional rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, the ACLU takes on the toughest civil liberties fights in pursuit of liberty and justice for all. For more information on the ACLU, visit