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United States Privacy Digest | Notes from the IAPP Publications Editor, Dec. 1, 2017 Related reading: Big Tech quiet on potential response to abortion data requests



Greetings from Portsmouth, NH!

I write to you as news swirls here in the U.S. Will there be a massive tax overhaul? Where is the Mueller investigation going? Will the FCC really roll back net neutrality regulations? Regardless of what side you're on, it's impossible to ignore these developments in what will surely be regarded down the road as historic times. One thing is for sure: There is a lot of uncertainty right now.

In other, more privacy-specific historical news, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in what many are calling one of the biggest privacy cases in a generation. Though it's next-to-impossible to tell what the final decision on the case will be, I can assure you that IAPP Westin Fellow Lee Matheson scoured Tuesday's transcripts and shares his insights in a new post for Privacy Perspectives. He does a great job characterizing how each justice may be framing the arguments, and even makes a couple of predictions of his own. Be sure to check it out. 

The other major development that has taken much of the technology and privacy worlds by storm is last week's revelations that Uber covered up a breach of 57 million users and drivers. Massive data breaches, at this point, are nothing new. As you likely know, it's not a matter of if, but when. What's truly breathtaking about the Uber incident is that it knowingly covered up the breach for a year, even going so far as paying off the hackers to keep it under wraps. The incident has prompted some in Congress to introduce new data breach notification legislation. Sen. Bill Nelson's draft even includes criminal liability for covering up a breach. With so many other things going on in Capitol Hill right now, I'm not optimistic we'll have federal data breach notification anytime soon, but lawmakers are still thinking about it, and perhaps the Uber incident will be the beginning for a federal standard. 

Finally, we're now in December, and that means Congress has just a few weeks to figure out what it's going to do with Section 702. The House intelligence committee released its version of new legislation this week, but it may have set off a turf war with its Senate counterparts. Watch this area because Congress actually has a deadline here and national security is at stake. Where the privacy rights of Americans will fit into this all, we'll likely know before the New Year. 

Until next week, happy reading. 


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