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United States Privacy Digest | Notes from the IAPP, March 20, 2020 Related reading: Global News Roundup: July 26-Aug. 2, 2021

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I’m writing this as I wrap up my first week of remote work from my hamster cage of an apartment. One thing I have learned since the IAPP has gone virtual, and the world around me has slowly shuttered its operations due to COVID-19: I don’t have enough hobbies.

I’ve already raced through some bigger tasks by cleaning my entire apartment, reestablishing my home office and somehow managing to stock up on the all-elusive toilet paper. Besides those housekeeping activities, I’ve cleaned my golf clubs and bag, reorganized my baseball card collection and zipped through a few TV shows and documentaries.

I won’t say I’ve been struck by cabin fever just yet, but it’s very clear that I — and you may feel the same way — have taken for granted the amenities and luxuries around me. Visits to a local coffee shop or pub, shooting hoops at the park and congregating with friends and family for game nights are among the many things I’ve overlooked.

We will undoubtedly make it through these trying times, but let’s learn in the process. When we come out of all this, let’s become more appreciative and thankful for the many things we consider “routine” about our lives. Now knowing what it’s like without these activities, it’ll be easier to revel in them more than ever before as we move forward.

Despite the sudden halt to many things in the U.S., privacy matters have remained steady and sit at the heart of the COVID-19 conversation. While everyone hears about “flattening the curve” of the pandemic, the U.S. government has explored doing so by potentially tracking infected individuals through geolocation and cellphone data. Reports suggest Facebook and Google have so far resisted the government’s inquiries regarding access to the user data.

COVID-19 is now also being looped in with the California Consumer Privacy Act, as well. Companies are seeking a delay to CCPA enforcement in the wake of the virus’s effect on business operations and the ability to comply with the law in a timely manner. Enforcement is slated to begin July 1. 

Separately, the California attorney general’s office recently published its second set of modifications to the draft regulations. You’ll find a full analysis of the latest revisions below from IAPP Legal Research Fellow Cathy Cosgrove.

If there’s one thing to count on right now, it’s that privacy isn't going away, but it will be in tension with the need for slowing down and turning the tide against this pandemic.

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