US data privacy law talks break down

data privacy

Debate to create uniform data privacy law across the US has broken down due to senators failing to decide how hard-line the new rules should be.

According to the Financial Times online, politicians in America are in disagreement over the wording of key aspects of the new bill.

Tech firms hope for the bill to be passed before the end of 2019, when the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will also come into being. Organisations have been advised that CCPA compliance will present numerous challenges, but these could be overridden if the new bill can pass through Congress before the CCPA goes live on the first day of 2020.

After months of discussion in the Senate Commerce Committee, the bill is still not ready for publication. Insiders say talks between Democrats and Republicans have ground to a halt.

According to the FT, a Democrat adviser said:

“If the industry simply wants a bill that is going to water down California, they haven’t got a hope. There is no way the Democrats will agree to anything like that. Talks are at a standstill now. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t manage to come up with a draft at all.”

A nationally applied data privacy bill in the States would constitute watershed legislation; companies would have to grant customers with new data access capabilities, conform to more stringent data handling standards, and could even be stopped from collecting or selling on personal and private information.

The data handling conduct of the tech industry has led to politicians on both the Democrat and Republican sides calling for a change in the law, as such, commentators are optimistic that the new bill will eventually pass. Without a federal law, however, companies face strict State-level laws, such as those set out in the CCPA.

Representing firms such as Facebook and Google, the Internet Association said:

“This is a unique moment when all stakeholders share the goal of providing consumers with more rights and control over the data they share. Congress has a real, bipartisan opportunity to pass legislation that provides meaningful protections for consumers and strengthens responsibilities for companies.”


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