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R.J. Cross
Advocate, New Economy, PIRG; Policy Analyst, Frontier Group

Author: R.J. Cross

Advocate, New Economy, PIRG; Policy Analyst, Frontier Group

(316) 312-5947

Started on staff: 2016
B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, University of Kansas

R.J. focuses on manipulative advertising and the commercialization of personal data online as a part of her work to advance PIRG’s New Economy program. In her work at Frontier Group, she has authored research reports on government transparency, predatory auto lending and consumer debt. She was previously the tax and budget advocate for PIRG. When she’s not protecting the public interest, she is an avid reader, fiction writer and birder.

Yesterday, the American Data Privacy & Protection Act (ADPPA) moved out of a House Energy & Commerce subcommittee with a unanimous and bipartisan vote. If passed, the ADPPA would be the first federal privacy law in decades. 

The bill is a mixed bag for advocates. The massive online data collection systems that underpin the modern Internet are almost entirely unregulated and in desperate need of oversight. The ADPPA draft includes some long sought after improvements to protect people online. It would also, however, limit the ability for stronger laws to be passed in the future, and limit the ability of citizens to take bad actors to court. The ADPPA is a result of long bipartisan negotiations that are still ongoing. 

Among the bill’s provisions are: 

-Raising the age at which children’s data can be collected and used for behavioral advertising online from 13 years old - as currently codified in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act - to 17 years old.

-Banning the passage of any future state-level legislation that would better protect people’s online data, while preserving Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act - a key state law that recently resulted in a nationwide ban on the use of Clearview AI’s massive facial surveillance database.

-Putting some limits on the kinds of data that can be collected about people online and shared with third party AdTech companies for use of behavioral advertising. It would also give people the opportunity to opt-out of such advertising altogether.

R.J. Cross
Advocate, New Economy, PIRG; Policy Analyst, Frontier Group

Author: R.J. Cross

Advocate, New Economy, PIRG; Policy Analyst, Frontier Group

(316) 312-5947

Started on staff: 2016
B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, University of Kansas

R.J. focuses on manipulative advertising and the commercialization of personal data online as a part of her work to advance PIRG’s New Economy program. In her work at Frontier Group, she has authored research reports on government transparency, predatory auto lending and consumer debt. She was previously the tax and budget advocate for PIRG. When she’s not protecting the public interest, she is an avid reader, fiction writer and birder.