Support a Comprehensive Consumer Privacy Law that Safeguards Civil Rights Online

View PDF of the letter here.

Support a Comprehensive Consumer Privacy Law that Safeguards Civil Rights Online

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McConnell,

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the 57 undersigned civil rights, civil liberties, and consumer protection organizations, we write to urge Congress to pass comprehensive consumer privacy legislation during this session that prohibits data-driven discrimination and ensures that everyone has the right to equal opportunity on the internet. As advocates, industry, and stakeholders on all sides of the debate have made clear, now is the time to take up this critical issue.

Privacy rights are civil rights. Protecting privacy can help ensure that people’s identities and characteristics cannot be used against them unfairly. Strong legislation can secure for everyone the “inviolability of privacy” that is “indispensable to preservation of freedom of association.”[1] Privacy legislation can empower communities of color and open doors for marginalized populations. It can also provide clarity to businesses and level the playing field for entrepreneurs.

There are many avenues to enacting comprehensive data protections. We believe that successful legislation would accomplish the following:

  • Prohibit using personal data to discriminate on the basis of protected characteristics.
  • Ensure that automated decision-making systems are tested for bias and other risks, especially in matters concerning housing, employment, education, credit, and public accommodations.
  • Empower enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general and include a private right of action.
  • Preserve state civil rights laws and other types of state laws that are important for the protection of consumers and marginalized communities.
  • Require companies to minimize the data they collect and give clarity on permissible and impermissible data uses.
  • Provide individuals the right to access, correct, and delete their personal data.
  • Regulate the data broker industry.
  • Create transparency mechanisms that are helpful to consumers and enable robust oversight, research, language accessibility, and accountability.

The time has come to enact a comprehensive consumer privacy law that safeguards civil rights online. We look forward to working with Congress on this essential task to protect everyone’s rights and create a more just and equitable society. Should you have any questions, please contact David Brody, managing attorney of the Digital Justice Initiative at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, at [email protected], or Anita Banerji, senior program director of media & tech at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, at [email protected].



The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Access Now

African American Ministers In Action

Alphabet Workers Union – CWA Local 1400

American Atheists

Arab American Institute

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Brennan Center for Justice

Center for American Progress

Center for Democracy & Technology

Center for Digital Democracy

Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law

Color Of Change

Common Cause

Common Sense Media

Communications Workers of America

Consumer Action

Consumer Federation of America

Demand Progress

Democracy Fund Voice

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

Equal Rights Advocates

Equality California


Fight for the Future

Free Press Action

Human Rights Watch

Impact Fund

Japanese American Citizens League

Media Alliance

Muslim Advocates

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)

National Association of Consumer Advocates

National Association of Social Workers

National CAPACD- National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development

National Consumer Law Center

National Consumers League

National Fair Housing Alliance

National Urban League

National Women’s Law Center

New America’s Open Technology Institute

Oakland Privacy

Open MIC (Open Media and Information Companies Initiative)

Public Citizen

Public Justice

Public Knowledge

Ranking Digital Rights


Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Stop Online Violence Against Women Inc

The Greenlining Institute

United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry

Wikimedia Foundation


[1] NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449, 462 (1958).