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United States Privacy Digest | Notes from the IAPP, March 6, 2020 Related reading: Global News Roundup: March 30–April 6, 2020

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Greetings from Portsmouth, New Hampshire!

It's been a hectic week here at IAPP headquarters — as I'm sure it's been for many of you, as well — with the growing spread and concerns around COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. We've been monitoring the situation closely, and, taking the safety and well-being of our speakers, sponsors, attendees and staff into consideration, we've made the difficult decision to postpone next week's event in London, England, the IAPP Data Protection Intensive: UK 2020. For more on this decision, please read our note from IAPP President and CEO J. Trevor Hughes here

The emergence of COVID-19 has once again raised important issues around balancing individual privacy with the public interest. It's an issue that was part of our joint report with the United Nations Global Pulse in 2018. No doubt, as we balance our individual rights with a safe and healthy public, ethics will enter the conversation. I wrote about these issues for Privacy Perspectives today, in case you want to check it out.

Speaking of ethics, and in case you missed it, we ran a piece last Friday on data review boards. Co-penned by Indiana University's Rachel Dockery, Fred Cate and Stanley Crosely, the article contends that DRBs are an emerging tool to help organizations make responsible decisions about data use, as well as demonstrate their commitment to ethical decision-making to regulators, journalists and consumers. 

There was also some action on the state privacy law front this week. The Washington Privacy Act passed through the House Innovation, Technology & Economic Development Committee with amendments. It then passed the House Committee on Appropriations. The most significant amendment added to the WaPA was the inclusion of a private right of action. Hintze Law Partner Mike Hintze wrote an op-ed in The Seattle Times warning that inclusion of the private right of action would force companies to move resources away from compliance work and "instead prioritize only those visible, technical compliance measures that are easy for trial lawyers to prove." Ultimately, he argues, a private right of action could kill the bill. No doubt we'll continue to follow the latest on this major piece of privacy legislation as it develops. 

Finally, we released a new digital book this week, the "Privacy Enforcement Casebook 2020." Arranged around the Fair Information Practices, the new book presents noteworthy cases from around the world and offers insight into regulators’ priorities and expectations. It can also be used to aid the development of an organization’s privacy program. We're planning to offer a print version in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. 

This casebook has been a long time coming, and a ton of current and former IAPP-ers helped put this one together. A big shoutout to all of you. A special shoutout also goes to IAPP Research Director Caitlin Fennessy for bringing this across the finish line. Since our last one came out in 2011, it's safe to say a few things have changed in the privacy world in nine years! 

Wishing you all a safe and healthy weekend!

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