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United States Privacy Digest | Notes from the IAPP Editorial Director, Oct. 30, 2020 Related reading: The Privacy Advisor Podcast: Alastair Mactaggart on California's Prop 24




Greetings from Kittery, Maine!

I think it's safe to say that talking about the weather can be pretty cliché, but I write to you during our first snowfall, and we haven't even hit Election Day yet! No doubt it can get pretty cold and snowy up here in the Northeast, but snow in October doesn't happen every year. For one, the oak leaves are still on trees! I guess this is the 2020 version of "trick or treat..." 

Speaking of Election Day, it's hard not to think about politics and the state of play in America right now. As I wrote earlier this week, this is the most significant U.S. election in at least a generation. With a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases around the country, the number of mail-in ballots is at an all-time high. This will likely pose a challenge for declaring a winner on election night, so we might have a long, legal slog ahead of us. Hopefully we won't have to re-litigate a Bush v. Gore scenario or — gulp — experience something worse. 

Our office will be closed on Election Day. I'm proud that the IAPP is doing this for staff so we can exercise our civic duty by voting and, for some, helping out at our local polling stations. Also note this means we won't be sending out Daily Dashboard that day. Though we'll be "out of the office" Tuesday, I can assure you we'll be watching the election results closely as the outcomes could have a significant effect on potential federal privacy legislation, the future of EU-U.S. (and U.K.) data flows, and perhaps, even the makeup of the Federal Trade Commission. 

The other major event we'll be monitoring closely is the outcome of Proposition 24 in California. If passed, and polling indicates it has a good chance of doing so in light of opposition from both industry and portions of the privacy advocacy community, that means businesses will have to gear up for the California Privacy Rights Act. I had the chance last Friday to catch up with the man behind the CPRA, Alastair Mactaggart. We had a wide-ranging conversation that was captured in my first episode of The Privacy Advisor Podcast. At the risk of sounding too self-promotional, I recommend tuning in to hear what he has to say, including what passage could mean for federal privacy law and data transfers with the EU. 

If you haven't done so already, I hope you get a chance to vote. There's a lot riding on this one. Stay safe and healthy out there. 


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