Lab Notes: March 2022

Tech giants are pushing for weak privacy laws across the country

    • As privacy legislation has stalled in Congress, giant tech companies are deploying a full court press to push states across the country to enact weak privacy legislation. In the past few years, California, Colorado, and Virginia have all passed laws of varying strength, California being the strongest. However, Utah’s governor just signed a weak privacy bill into law that would benefit industry, not consumers, over the objections of CR and other privacy groups. Meanwhile, CR led efforts to oppose weak bills in Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee, all of which failed to advance this year.
    • The danger of these weak bills becoming law is that they could set a new baseline for consumer privacy standards that falls short of actually protecting the privacy of consumers. The good news is that California’s privacy law, while imperfect, is stronger than all of these measures, and companies still have to comply with it. We’ll continue pushing back against the efforts of tech companies to water down consumer privacy laws and work to ensure that emerging laws put the interest of consumers first.

Holding Big Tech accountable on Antitrust Day

    • On April 4th, companies, nonprofits, and individuals are uniting to support proposed action by Congress to hold giant tech companies accountable for how they treat consumers, and how they hurt competition. Congress is working to pass new rules  – the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open App Markets Act – both passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee with overwhelming bipartisan support and similar proposals are being considered in the House.

Right to repair movement pushes forward

    • The bipartisan Fair Repair Act, based on CR’s model bill, was introduced in the U.S. Senate earlier this month (the House companion was introduced last year) which would guarantee consumers the right to have their electronic devices fixed by a repair servicer of their choice — or to make their own repairs if they can. Additionally, CR is co-sponsoring California’s SB 983, also based on CR’s model bill, which would guarantee the right to repair for consumer electronics.

In case you missed it

Get the latest on Innovation at Consumer Reports

Sign up to stay informed

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy