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Hello from York, Maine!

Remember the movie “Groundhog Day” in which Bill Murray’s character is destined to repeat the same day over and over until he has a life-changing epiphany? 

I feel like we have been cast as supporting characters as we’ve written “what a week” in some variation at the beginning of these letters for what seems like an eternity. Whether we are writing about COVID-19, the fight for social equality, widespread unemployment or the shocking events that took place in Washington last week, it seems like something of a historic basis is happening daily.  

It has been difficult to stay focused, but luckily, there has been a flurry of privacy news around the world and, here in the U.S., a number of states have introduced new privacy legislation.

Minnesota along with New York and Washington released new privacy bills this week. And it is expected that more state activity will pop up over the coming weeks and months.

IAPP Staff Writer Jennifer Bryant has the details on the Washington State Senate hearing below.

Surprisingly, New York state introduced six privacy-related bills since the beginning of the year, including the revamped New York Privacy Act and the Biometric Privacy Act.

At a media briefing this morning, Future of Privacy Forum Senior Counsel Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna said that outside of Washington state and California, “New York state is the one we’re watching right now.” She was referring to the bill introduced in the Senate at the beginning of the month that amends the general business law of New York state.

That bill introduces consumer protection, has a provision that allows consumers to access their own data, and allows consumers to send a do-not sell personal information request to companies. Zanfir-Fortuna also noted the bill has “a very broad private right of action."

What does this recent push of state privacy legislation mean for the possibility of federal privacy law?

With the incoming Biden administration, it is widely expected federal legislation will pass sooner rather than later as there is bipartisan support in Congress to pass something. In an online session at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this week, leading privacy pros for three Big Tech companies expressed optimism for a federal law in the coming year or two. Our own Ryan Chiavetta has more details below. 

On that note, stay safe and have a good weekend.

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