Greetings U.S. Digest readers!
It’s been a chilly week here in Wells, Maine, and we’re anticipating more snow to come early next week, so while I may be wrapped up in wool sweaters and warm blankets, the 2022 legislative session across the U.S. is certainly doing nothing but heating up.
So far, more than a dozen privacy bills have been introduced in various states. Just this week, Democratic Washington State Sen. Reuven Carlyle reintroduced the Washington Privacy Act for a fourth consecutive session as well as a companion bill including provisions on children’s privacy, and a separate proposed comprehensive privacy bill was also introduced. A new bill is proposed in Indiana while the Florida Privacy Protection Act has been reintroduced and New Jersey is back with the Disclosure and Accountability Transparency Act.
Coming off the heels of two new state privacy laws passed last year in Colorado and Virginia, and with increasing awareness and expectations around privacy, IAPP Senior Westin Research Fellow Müge Fazlioglu said during a LinkedIn Live on top predictions for 2022 that it won’t be a surprise to see one or two more state laws pass this year.
“The public’s awareness of privacy is increasing, and this is leading to changes in attitudes and beliefs about what rights people need in this new digital era and lawmakers are aware and that’s going to continue to motivate legislative efforts throughout this year and into the future,” she said.
Some have anticipated that a patchwork of state privacy laws could increase the likelihood of comprehensive federal privacy legislation. But Fazlioglu said she finds the opposite likely, arguing more state privacy laws may make federal privacy legislation less necessary. And with 15% of U.S. adults currently covered by some degree of consumer privacy protection, Fazlioglu said there “is still a big gap and need of privacy protection for the other 85% of the U.S.”
No matter what happens at the state level, Goodwin Partner and IAPP Senior Fellow Omer Tene cautioned not to expect a “breakthrough” on federal privacy legislation in 2022.
“Interest groups on both sides of this issue remain deeply entrenched, with business groups strongly resisting mechanisms of redress beyond regulatory action and advocacy groups pushing to expand the scope of privacy law to address topics such as equity, bias and discrimination,” he said.
Meanwhile, in line with the increasing privacy awareness, Fazlioglu mentioned a Morning Consult-Politico poll of 2,000 registered U.S. voters found 56% support federal privacy legislation that would “make it illegal for social media companies to use personal data to recommend content via algorithms.”
Increasing privacy awareness, interest from consumers and attention from lawmakers will make for an interesting trifecta around privacy and data protection legislation as 2022 unfolds. While we don’t know exactly how things will play out, there’s sure to be a flurry of activity. To help keep you in the know, the latest federal and state privacy updates are gathered in the IAPP’s “US State Privacy Legislation Tracker.”
Until next time, stay warm and Happy New Year!
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