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Greetings from Portsmouth, New Hampshire!

The U.S. is still moving forward with reopening as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the road ahead does not look like an easy one. Case numbers have surged in some states and continue to decrease in others. No one knows what this situation will look like week to week, let alone month to month. All we can do is stay as safe as possible and wear masks when needed. I will tell you this, hot mask breath is the absolute worst, but wearing one is obviously the right thing to do.

Part of the efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 has been contact tracing, which was the subject of an IAPP Keynote Event that broadcast this afternoon. Apple Senior Director, Global Privacy Law and Policy Jane Horvath and Google Chief Privacy Officer Keith Enright highlighted the privacy measures the tech companies implemented into their Exposure Notification System. Horvath and Enright discussed the decision to use a decentralized system and their commitment to delete all COVID-19-related information once the pandemic subsides.

Horvath and Enright acknowledge there will be user adoption challenges. Contact tracing apps may come with good intentions, but individuals will likely be skeptical of a system that will monitor them in any capacity. The tech companies are hoping their approach will balance public health needs with users’ privacy rights.

Another noteworthy privacy development also occurred this week. The California Privacy Rights Act will be on the state’s November ballot and the push to make it happen came right down to the wire. Late last week, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne W. L. Chang approved the Californians for Consumer Privacy's request for an order ensuring petition signatures are counted before the June 25 deadline. The group had more than enough signatures and now CPRA will be up for vote this fall.

All of these developments come as we are days away from the enforcement date of the California Consumer Privacy Act, which has remained at July 1 despite calls for a push back due to the pandemic. The legislative fate of the Golden State may be the top non-COVID privacy story for the remainder of this outrageous year.

Stay safe.

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