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United States Privacy Digest | Notes from the IAPP, Jan. 28, 2022 Related reading: Notes from the IAPP, Jan. 21, 2022

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Greetings from Maine!

Happy Data Privacy Day! 

IAPP Senior Westin Fellow Müge Fazlioglu wrote about the history of Data Privacy Day for this month's issue of The Privacy Advisor, and you can read about it in detail below. 

The IAPP hosted a series of events worldwide to celebrate the day, including the LinkedIn Live event "Data Privacy Day and 2022 Predictions."  

And just in time for Data Privacy Day, the IAPP published the "2022 Global Legislative Predictions" white paper. Privacy professionals from 42 countries offered their thoughts and predictions on privacy legislation for the upcoming year. It's worth noting the report has doubled in size since it debuted in 2017.

We wrote about the U.S. predictions, and some of it may seem familiar. But while there is a lot of discussion on potential privacy legislation, all eyes will be on California this year as it begins its rulemaking process. Enforcement of the California Privacy Rights Act doesn't begin until 2023, but regulations will give companies a better indication of what they need to do to ensure compliance with the law.

Since Jan. 1, almost two dozen states have introduced privacy legislation — Hawaii introduced new legislation earlier this week. Several states have already held hearings, including Washington and Indiana. Look for details on the Indiana hearing early next week from IAPP Staff Writer Joe Duball. 

What exactly does this mean? We'll likely see two or even three new state laws passed this year. Will this be Washington's year? Or perhaps Florida and New York will pass legislation? All three? Only time will tell.

So, why the increase of proposed privacy legislation at the state level? 

"It's happening at the state level and in part, I think it's happening because we are missing the big picture, which is the federal data privacy law," Perkins Coie Partner, Privacy & Security; Co-chair, Ad Tech Privacy & Data Management Dominique Shelton Leipzig said during the LinkedIn Live.

It's unlikely we'll have a federal privacy law this year or even next, especially as Congress has other priorities on its plate, including nominating and voting for a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and the upcoming midterm elections.

Still, Shelton said, "There is consensus on both sides of the aisle, both at the state and federal level, on a lot of the privacy-related points of legislation."

While we might not see comprehensive federal privacy legislation just yet, it is possible certain aspects of privacy, such as biometrics or AI, will be incorporated into other legislation. 

There is bipartisan support for federal privacy legislation in some form at the consumer level as well. A recent Morning Consult/Politico poll found 4 out of 5 respondents support the "Terms-of-service Labeling, Design and Readability Act," introduced earlier this month by U.S. House Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Mass., and Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M. According to the report, of the 2,005 respondents, 86% of Democrats, 83% of Independents and 76% of Republicans support legislation that makes terms of service agreements easier to read. 

One statistic from the report caught our eye: 13% of the respondents "always" read the TOS, and 13% said they "never" read them. We're curious — do you read the TOS, or do you skip over them? 

With that, I'll wish you a good weekend and, for those of you in the Northeast, a safe one as well.

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