Data privacy management will only grow more important, expensive, and complicated in the days to come for tech companies. Companies need to take a step back and understand what data they have, where it resides and how to manage that data.
After an extended pause due to the coronavirus and the 2020 election, the prospect of a federal privacy law is once again being raised by Congress and the first contender is attempting to bridge the partisan divide.
Brands have long walked a delicate tightrope between tracking for commercial purposes while ensuring the privacy of the data is compliant with a hodgepodge of regulations. Now, could the changes of the last few months be what America needs to finally enact a national privacy law?
Thoughtful regulatory framework combined with industry led initiatives will give consumers transparency and control, while enabling businesses to bring new products and services to market without excessive fear around unclear or overbearing regulations.
American lawmakers may once again be ready to seriously take up the idea of a federal privacy law. A report about the bill was quickly followed by publication of a discussion draft for public view.
On the state level, debates between business and consumer advocates have coalesced over whether to include a private right to action in data privacy legislation. For a federal privacy law, proposed litigation faces an additional hurdle: whether a federal law should preempt state laws.
Decision-makers have much work to do in order to make the federal privacy law a success. Enforcement will be the most important factor. The stricter the enforcement the higher likelihood of compliance and will dictate implementation willingness across the board.
The US Chamber of Commerce stands in opposition to the passage of a federal privacy law citing its priority over individual state law and its guarantee of rights to class action lawsuits as dealbreakers.
Yet more proof that a federal privacy law could be coming to the U.S. as early as next year with the introduction of the Online Privacy Act which may be more stringent than the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
A federal privacy law that meets five key requirements can bring U.S. more in line with global privacy principles and relieve burdens on business from differing standards.