GDPR influencing the US to tighten up their Privacy Laws?

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

In a study conducted by Pew Survey, they found out that two-thirds of Americans aren’t convinced that current laws are doing enough to ensure their privacy, in fact, 6 out of 10 respondents expressed their interest in having more control over their personal data out of concerns from the increasing frequency of security data breaches. In an even more surprising turn of events, a number of tech giants including Apple are now pushing for a smarter government regulation and data privacy laws. All these are indicative of the growing concern and awareness within the US regarding data protection and privacy.

US citizens are predicted to seek a more efficient and effective data protection legislation from their representatives following the recent Marriott data breach. Laws calling for data minimization, and laws that would ensure that companies would be held accountable for security costs should breach occur instead of having consumers shoulder the burden are now on the horizon.

The US is finally slowly making a move toward greater data localization laws instead of just sitting on the sidelines as it has done in the past, foreshadowing a global battle over data security and privacy. However, authoritarian regimes are making strides to enable greater government access to both personally identifiable information (PII) and intellectual property which would inevitably lead to increased censorship, internet controls and restriction, and integrating disinformation. An example of this is Russia which had just recently implemented heftier fines and greater oversight to current data laws, going to the extent of requiring government access to encryption keys and storing its citizens’ personal data in Russia. Countering the authoritarians are the democratic nations that use legislation such as EU’s GDPR to give users more control over their personal data, favouring the rights of each individual over government access.

EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) represent the rise of more pro-user/ democratic data law models that emphasizes individual data protection and acts as a counterweight to digital authoritarianism and censorship.

With the constant barrage of data security breaches, increasing frequencies of cyberattacks, and the global diffusion of surveillance and censorship, consumers will now want to have full reins in their own data protection. Usable security will be born into Earth and signal an end to the long-standing argument that there needs to be a trade-off between security, privacy and convenience, true progress toward security democratization for all.