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United States Privacy Digest | Notes from the IAPP Editorial Director, June 21, 2019 Related reading: A view from DC: Should ChatGPT slow down?



Happy Summer Solstice from Portsmouth, New Hampshire!

It has been a busy but immensely valuable week here at IAPP headquarters, as our board of directors was on hand for our annual leadership retreat. As always, meeting with so many bright minds and leaders in the profession is inspiring. No doubt, there are countless complexities and challenges that privacy pros must navigate each day: What is the role of the DPO within the organization, and how does he or she work with the CPO? How do privacy pros assess ethical uses of data, especially when business decisions around technological innovation may be, technically, legal ... or, um, not illegal? These are but two examples of a vast array of dialogue this week. There are no easy or clear answers to these questions (among others!) that so many of you are grappling with. We'd love to hear your stories of and insight into these questions, as well. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if so. 

On the U.S. privacy news front, the California Consumer Privacy Act is having its effect on the country. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called for federal privacy legislation this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. No doubt driven by the looming CCPA, McCarthy, a California Republican, warned against a patchwork, state-by-state regulatory landscape. He argued, "If California goes into effect and then every other state’s doing one, we’re going to disrupt whatever growth we can have within technology and innovation." Sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, agreed: "My goal is a strong law that's stronger than California, that's more workable to innovation than Europe. ... And that it's so acceptable to all parties that we can avoid a patchwork of state-by-state." (Here's to dreaming ...)

The same report also notes that a U.S. Senate working group, comprising Sens. Wicker, Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, John Thune, R-S.D., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., is meeting today, Friday, to discuss draft federal legislation. Interestingly, the WSJ also quotes an unnamed GOP aide, who said Wicker hopes to introduce a bill before the Senate's recess this August, "a goal primarily driven by a desire to get the bill passed before the California law takes effect in January." Will we actually see something this summer? Sounds like a possibility. 

With the current political climate and a presidential election already heating up, it's hard to imagine Congress actually coming together to pass federal legislation this year, but who knows? This time last year, the CCPA was unheard of, until it seemingly popped up out of nowhere. 

In the meantime, here's to a happy, and hopefully relaxing, summer season to you all. 


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