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Most of us heard the major news network announcements calling the U.S. presidential election for Joe Biden last weekend. I was not eligible to vote, but as an immigrant who has lived in this country for about a decade, I followed it closely. Although I am surprised a woman has never been chosen or elected for the job of vice president — or president, for that matter — in U.S. history before, it is inspiring to witness and hear Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ messages of women’s empowerment. The outcome of this election is sure to have a significant impact on our daily lives through policies toward COVID-19, the environment, foreigners and other disadvantaged minorities.

But what will this change in administration mean for data protection and privacy?

Though it may be too early to say definitively, it is a critical question that we here at the IAPP have already started digging into. Earlier this week, IAPP Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer Omer Tene moderated a LinkedIn Live event during which he spoke with former FTC Commissioner Julie Brill, Obama administration veteran Cameron Kerry, and Future of Privacy Forum Senior Counsel Stacey Gray about potential developments regarding federal privacy legislation, implications for the Federal Trade Commission, and a variety of other data issues, such as algorithmic transparency, fairness and equality in facial recognition technologies, and COVID-19. In addition, this election cycle has also given California residents a new privacy law, the Consumer Privacy Rights Act, which will bolster the protections already put in place by the CCPA. IAPP Editorial Director Jedidiah Bracy has written an insightful analysis of where these things are headed in the big picture.

In other major privacy news this week, the announcement of the proposed settlement between the FTC and Zoom over the video conferencing giant’s alleged unfair and deceptive practices regarding data security was a significant development that concluded a yearlong investigation. Zoom is required by the FTC’s consent order to implement an information security program and cease making misrepresentations regarding its privacy and security practices.

International data flows recaptured the spotlight this week. First, the EDPB released guidance on secondary measures in the wake of “Schrems II,” which IAPP Research Director Caitlin Fennessy broke down in this article. Then, the European Commission followed with the release of its draft implementing decisions on standard contractual clauses. Fennessy and Senior Westin Research Fellow and Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling Henriette "Jetty" Tielemans provided their initial thoughts and immediate reactions to the draft in a LinkedIn Live session.

On a personal note, I have been preoccupied with the news of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit my hometown, Izmir, Oct. 30. My thoughts and heart are with everyone who experienced that and all the people from Izmir who may live far away but feel the pain at home. Living through the experiences of these crises, while continuing to work and carry on with day-to-day responsibilities, has perhaps been the most difficult thing about this year. No matter what else we witness in the months ahead, though, we can make it through.

I hope your weekend is filled with good thoughts and feelings.

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