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The Data Drop News for January 28, 2021

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

US privacy laws, Biden appointment, and global consumer privacy survey

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New Biden appointment

In national data security news, the Biden administration has appointed Christopher Hoff to oversee Privacy Shield talks as deputy assistant secretary for services at the US Department of Commerce. The Privacy Shield is meant to protect commercial transfer of personal information across the Atlantic.

Hoff has had a decade long career in privacy and has previously served as the chair of the APEC cross-border privacy rule system joint oversight panel.

US citizens want control of their data

A new article in the New York Times has suggested that people need more control over how their personal data is used. There are currently few legal limits on what US companies can do with private information, as long as they first outline their intentions in a privacy policy.

Recent regulatory updates in California have begun laying out the groundwork to change this allowing state residents - and in some cases, all Americans - to see what data companies have about them and with whom they've shared it with. Individuals can also demand that this data will be deleted and not sold.

The California law also outlines the possibility of authorized agents to exercise these data rights. Consumer Reports has offered to be one of the first such assistance. But eventually, this could just be a checkbox on each website you visit. Like an online version of the "Do Not Call List".

New privacy laws in Washington and Oklahoma

Other states could soon pass digital privacy laws. Washington state lawmakers are taking another crack at protecting consumer data privacy, their third time doing so since 201 9. The Washington Privacy Act would allow consumers to access, delete and correct their personal data as well as opt-out of having their data sold for advertising. Their last data privacy bill was scrapped after the state House and Senate couldn't agree on a final version.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma lawmakers have proposed a bill that would require internet technology companies to obtain explicit permission to collect and sell personal data. If passed, this will become one of the nation's first opt-in data privacy laws.

Is a US national privacy law imminent?

At the same time as these state initiatives, big tech privacy officers say that a national US data privacy laws coming. At the digital CES 2021 event privacy leaders at Google, Twitter, and Amazon said that the time is right for a data privacy law.


The Data Drop Minute is a production of the Data Collaboration Alliance, a non-profit advancing data ownership and data-centric innovation through sponsored pilot projects and free learning.


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