Is a New US Data Protection Agency on the Horizon?

With the implementation of GDPR in the Eu over the past few years, we have seen a massive overhaul of data protection regulation and plenty of actual enforcement from authorities.

The result has been increased scrutiny on data operations and better management of customer and personal data across numerous markets.

The US is not quite in the same boat, but a recent bill put forward by a US democrat senator indicates the possibility of a US federal data protection agency with the power and authority to protect the data of Americans and enforce the regulations and practices across the country, just as the Eu have done in Europe.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently published a bill that aims to establish such a data agency in the US, with a focus on addressing the “growing data privacy crisis” in the country.

Currently, Gillibrand says the US is “vastly behind” the rest of the world when it comes to data privacy laws. The US is among few nations with little to no data laws (alongside Venezuela, Libya, Sudan and Syria).

“The data privacy space remains a complete and total Wild West, and that is a huge problem,” the senator said.

The introduction of this bill comes as in 2019 and 2020 large companies like Facebook and Amazon have been facing increased state and federal scrutiny when it comes to data management; and of course several data privacy court cases on top. In fact, Gillibrand recently called out Google and Facebook for “making a whole lot of money” from mismanagement of customer data.

The new agency would enforce regulations similar to GDPR, but act as a referee between consumer, company and state. We’ll soon see if the bill is passed and what might come of US data laws.

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