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Online privacy in 2019: a legislative review

For decades, the United States treated data privacy like an aging home, patching individual leaks and drafts only when a new storm hit. The country passed a law protecting healthcare-related information, and not much else. It then passed a law protecting video rental information, and not much else. It continued this way, repeatedly passing sector-specific laws while failing to address a problem … [Read more...]

“Data as property” promises fix for privacy problems, but could deepen inequality

In mid-November, Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang unveiled a four-prong policy approach to solving some of today’s thornier tech issues, such as widespread misinformation, technology dependence, and data privacy. Americans, Yang proposed, should receive certain, guaranteed protections for how their data is collected, shared, and sold—and if they choose to waive those rights, they should … [Read more...]

CEOs offer their own view of a US data privacy law

Last week, the chief executives of more than 50 mid- and large-sized companies urged Congress to pass a national data privacy law to regulate how companies collect, use, and share Americans’ data. Buried deep within the chief executives’ recommendations for such a law, presented as a policy framework for guidance, was a convenient proposal: Private individuals should not be allowed to sue … [Read more...]

Maine inches closer to shutting down ISP pay-for-privacy schemes

Maine residents are one step closer to being protected from the unapproved use, sharing, and sale of their data by Internet service providers (ISPs). A new state bill, already approved by the state House of Representatives and Senate, awaits the governor’s signature. If signed, the bill would provide some of the strongest data privacy protections in the United States, putting a latch on … [Read more...]

Will pay-for-privacy be the new normal?

Privacy is a human right, and online privacy should be no exception. Yet, as the US considers new laws to protect individuals’ online data, at least two proposals—one statewide law that can still be amended and one federal draft bill that has yet to be introduced—include an unwelcome bargain: exchanging money for privacy. This framework, sometimes called “pay-for-privacy,” is plain wrong. It casts … [Read more...]