Will US get stronger privacy laws?

The US is lagging behind when it comes to privacy and the role of big data tech giants.

5G networks, IoT, artificial intelligence and other related technologies are all based on a massive processing and transfer of personal data, between both devices and countries. The latter are deemed as a global scenario for these purposes. However, how could these technologies work without equivalent privacy laws?

GDPR protect people’s data while also allowing companies to thrive and reap the benefits of digitalization. Since the privacy law came into effect in May 2018, both citizens and businesses have felt the positive impact of it. The essence of the law is it give people have more control over their personal data. They have the right to access the data, amend it and decide who and how can use it, among others.

GDPR works because companies have reported that the rollout of the new rules was an opportunity for them to put their house in order when it comes to the data they hold, and increase its security. It also helped them build trust with their customers and offer innovative, more privacy-friendly services.

There have been calls for Washington and the European Union to move closer on privacy issues and become global leaders for free and secure data flows. Beyond the security of data, privacy rules also play a crucial role in debates on the development of artificial intelligence, 5G networks and competition rules.

EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová notes tech companies in the U.S. have already voiced their support for stronger legislation. “It’s time for America to join us, Japan and many others in our work, and be part of setting the global standards on privacy,” Jourová writes. “We should be building a global coalition to tackle the challenge together and promote free trade based on respect of strong privacy rules.”

If the EU and U.S. can find a common ground on how to legislate privacy, an environment where businesses can send data freely and citizens regain trust in the digital world can be realised.

Do you require assistance with GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 compliance? Aphaia provides both GDPR adaptation consultancy services, including data protection impact assessments, and Data Protection Officer outsourcing.

Horlane Mbayo

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