News > Press Releases

CTA Applauds Senate for Bipartisan ECPA Reform Bill

Arlington, VA – July 27, 2017 – 

The following statement is attributed to Michael Petricone, senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), regarding the introduction of the ECPA Modernization Act of 2017 by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Mike Lee (R-UT), which would update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA):

"We thank Sens. Leahy and Lee for fighting to protect citizens' privacy by bringing electronic communications privacy laws up to speed with modern technology. Americans should know their personal data is protected, no matter where it is stored.

"Under the current ECPA law, data stored on local sources such as your computer or smartphone is better protected from government searches than data stored on the cloud. In 1986 - the last time an electronic communications privacy bill was passed - less than one percent of U.S. households had a wireless phone. Today, over 90 percent of our households have smartphones. Further, if data is stored for longer than 180 days, the current ECPA law does not require the government to obtain a warrant to access it. However, with the proliferation of cloud services, many of our emails get stored for much longer. The ECPA Modernization Act of 2017 will eliminate the different requirements for cloud data, replacing them with a single standard - that the government must always get a warrant, protecting cloud providers and consumers alike.

"We applaud the House and Senate for moving forward on ECPA reform and look forward to working with both chambers as these companion bills move forward."