On November 14, 2013, the Bipartisan Privacy Working Group of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade (“Working Group”) held a second meeting to discuss the growing information-sharing capabilities and connectivity of consumer devices, known as the Internet of Things (“IoT”). The Working Group heard from representatives from industry and a former top official from the Federal Trade Commission. During this meeting, the Working Group participants discussed how the IoT could affect the average consumer through the integration of their household appliances, medical devices, and other “smart” items for everyday use. Participants also examined the extent to which any existing or proposed privacy laws could impact innovation within the IoT space.
On November 20, 2013, the Working Group held its third meeting on consumer privacy issues. The Working Group heard from the Direct Marketing Association (“DMA”), consumer interest groups, and a representative of the academic community. At this meeting, the DMA discussed the results of a new academic study that demonstrated the value of data to the U.S. economy. The DMA reported that data-driven marketing generates an estimated $156 billion annually and fueled more than 675,000 new jobs in 2012.