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United States Privacy Digest | Notes from the IAPP, March 26, 2021 Related reading: Notes from the IAPP, March 19, 2021

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Greeting from Newfields, New Hampshire!

Have you ever found yourself in that paradox where time is moving slow and fast at the same time? That's probably the best way to describe my ongoing work-from-home experience, which hit its one-year anniversary last week.

It's been slow in the sense of an everyday routine growing largely mundane. I think many of you can empathize about waking up knowing today is going to basically mirror yesterday to a tee. Add in winter's cold grip on New Hampshire further limiting diversions from the routine, and we’re talking about some of these days moving at a snail's pace. 

On the other hand, I find myself asking how time seemed to fly by so quickly before realizing the culprit was in fact the U.S. privacy landscape. From March 2020 to March 2021, two state privacy laws passed, the demise of an EU-U.S. data transfer mechanism, questions with few immediate answers on the future of advertising technology privacy and various privacy issues sparked by COVID-19.

All of that may not sound like it could cover an entire year, but the frequent updates on these matters and their thought-provoking nature ultimately helped pass the time that would’ve been otherwise covered by outside distractions that have gone missing. Privacy became the distraction. I've been more laser-focused on the nitty-gritty details of these matters and, honestly, such immersion has produced some much-needed excitement and interest to my days.

This last week alone was a prime example of the absolute whirlwind we’ve become accustomed to. It actually first started at the end of last week with board appointments for the California Privacy Protection Agency. Then came news from the Federal Trade Commission on a new commissioner appointment and the creation of a rulemaking group, both of which will undoubtedly shake up federal privacy enforcement in some fashion. If that wasn’t enough to absorb, the Department of Commerce announced intentions to increase discussions with the EU on an EU-U.S. Privacy Shield replacement after reports two weeks earlier suggested a new mechanism was not on the horizon. And I’d be remiss not to mention the cherry on top, as the IAPP unveiled its latest iteration of the "Privacy Tech Vendor Report" featuring 356 vendors across 11 categories.

We’ve always heard the old adage about how unhealthy it is to bury yourself in your work. This year was undoubtedly an exception to that rule, and it’s a self-pardon I don’t think I’ll be regretting anytime soon.

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