Greetings from Portsmouth, NH!
What a week it's been for democracy here in the States. Finally, we can stop seeing a billion negative campaign ads, but with so many tight and contentious races — especially in Georgia and, wait for it ... Florida — we won't have a final tally of all the races for several weeks, or even longer. Let's hope we don't make 2018 2000 again by hearing about hanging chads in Broward County!
Joking aside, the balance of power will be altered in 2019 now that the Democrats will control the House of Representatives. Though the Republicans held steady and even made gains in the Senate, Democrats picked up seven new governorships and the majority of state attorneys general will be Democrats as well. So what will this all mean for privacy regulation in the U.S.?
That's the big question, no doubt.
Today is the deadline — which was extended from Oct. 26 — to submit comments to the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration on a consumer privacy framework. You may recall that the NTIA approach aims to focus on transparency, user control, data minimization, data security, access and correction rights, and accountability. I look forward to hearing more about submitted comments in the coming weeks, and I can assure you we're following these developments as closely as possible. If your organization is submitting comments and you can share them, please send them my way.
One organization that's decided to solicit feedback to its proposed privacy framework is Intel. Earlier this week, the company released a draft bill for consumption and feedback. They've also created an online portal for stakeholders to comment and conduct a dialogue on a privacy framework. If you want to get in the game, you've got until Nov. 19 to take part.
And what about the people?
Morning Consult conducted a survey between Nov. 2 and 4 of approximately 1,000 registered voters to gauge interest in consumer issues for the next Congress. Interestingly, "protecting consumer data" garnered the most support across political affiliation. According to the survey, 43 percent of Democrats, 41 percent of Independents and 37 percent of Republicans said it was a top priority for Congress to pass a bill that would better protect consumer data. This clearly outweighed interest in legislating for net neutrality, addressing political bias on social media platforms, and antitrust regulation.
On Monday, Frank Pallone, D-NJ, who is currently the ranking member and the expected future chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said a Democratic committee working group "has been seriously looking at privacy and data security issues for several months now. ... I look forward to discussing these issues and others with my colleagues after the election, and then we will determine the best way to proceed."
It's pretty clear there's a significant divide underway in this country right now. The rhetoric is ramping up. No doubt these are contentious times. Maybe privacy and data protection is one area where both sides can come together and find some common ground. Let's hope so.
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