Privacy and Data Protection in the US

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Privacy and Data Protection have become a global focal point of discussion among those concerned with the governance of the Internet and the services that run on top of it. In the past year, this focus has reached a critical point in the USA where stakeholders are acknowledging that regulation is imminent and are seeking to play a role in shaping the coming legal framework.

The action around this issue in the USA comes in the wake of several major events.

  • In March 2018, it was reported that Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm, had acquired and misused the data approximately 87 million Facebook users to sway political elections, including the 2016 US Presidential Election.
  • On April 14, 2016 the European Union adopted the General Data Protection Regulation in an attempt to unify the regulatory environment across the EU and give individuals more control over their individual data. On May 25, 2018, the enforcement of this law went into effect.
  • In June 2018, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, was passed by the California State Legislature and will be the toughest privacy laws in the US when they go into effect in 2020.

Policy Recommendations

The following Table highlights several proposed frameworks and sets of principles for a modernization of privacy and Data protection laws in the US.

Recommendation U.S. Chamber of Commerce Internet Association BSA | The Software Alliance U.S. Department of Commerce
Industry Neutrality
Promote Int'l Free Data Flow
Consumer Access and Control