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United States Privacy Digest | Notes from the IAPP Editorial Director, May 14, 2021 Related reading: High Court hands Irish DPC victory in Facebook data transfers case



Greetings from Portsmouth, NH!

Trans-Atlantic data transfers are back in the spotlight today with the Irish High Court's dismissal of Facebook's procedural complaints in its case with the Irish Data Protection Commission. The case itself is complicated and the ruling long at 197 pages. The dismissal is a win for the DPC, which provided Facebook a preliminary draft decision last summer, not long after the now-famous "Schrems II" decision from the Court of Justice of the EU. Today's ruling means the DPC can restart its inquiry. It will consider submissions from Facebook before finalizing a draft decision to submit to the European Data Protection Board for approval, a process which could take months.

The takeaway for those of us in the U.S. is that data transfers from the EU to the U.S. could get more complicated. Again. 

Another area we're watching closely is developments in artificial intelligence. Of course, on the "other side of the pond," the European Commission recently released a draft proposal that would regulate AI, and here in the U.S., the White House launched to help oversee and implement a national AI strategy. 

No doubt, AI is a catch-all term, but one nascent subset of AI is empathic technology, and more specifically, emotion-detection technology. For those who are unfamiliar, there are companies developing technology to detect and respond to a person's emotional state for a host of services, from hiring job candidates, assessing student performance, monitoring drivers, enhancing virtual and augmented reality gaming and predicting bad actors for law enforcement. There are tons of privacy, fairness and ethical issues that come with empathic technology, and some in the AI space disagree that emotion detection is even possible. 

But issues or not, the industry is estimated to be worth $56 billion by 2024. To discuss this developing and dynamic field, I recently caught up with Ben Bland for our latest episode of The Privacy Advisor Podcast. Bland worked in the empathic technology space under startup Sensum and now chairs the IEEE's P7014 Working Group to develop a global standard for the ethics of empathic technology. There was lots to discuss, so while you're working on your garden or cleaning out the garage this weekend, give it a listen. The technology is novel, and it's not going away. 



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