After Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in the Midterm elections, odds seem to have tilted in favor of US Data Privacy Law. The Data Privacy Law can be better understood as ‘consumer privacy legislation’ that is on Democrat agenda- 2019. A Democratic win ensures the said agenda is in place, that details on what the Democrats have a vouched to work upon. Midterm elections results were announced on Tuesday wherein people gave a clear mandate to Democrats.
The Democratic party has mandated to take charge of important committees regarding technology issues, for example, the Energy and Commerce committee. Representing New Jersey Frank Pallone, a Democrat is slated to chair the same committee. Might I tell you that it is the same committee leaders that end up setting the agenda for the house, what is to be discussed and whom to summon in the house and whom not to? Post his election win, Frank Pallone has vowed to work on the issue of privacy and data security protection; it is going to be his priority.
In other words, it could mean that tech giants could be held accountable and summoned in the house (Mark Zuckerberg & Cambridge Analytica), etc. Frank Pallone will be joined by other members of the house to push for legislation concerning the burning issue of data privacy regulation. Interestingly Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, published a draft of legislation that proposed data privacy. This wasn’t an ordinary draft; it contained stringent punishments for tech giants who mishandle data like, for example, this draft suggested penalties of up to 20 years in prison.
Other senators include Rep. Suzan DelBene from Washington, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee who both have tried to introduce privacy bills in the house. The topic of data privacy is in hotspot because of the European Union’s regulation on General Data Protection that came into effect in May, earlier this year. In Silicon Valley, Apple CEO Tim Cook has called for a stringent data privacy law in place. Google has voiced similar opinions.
Companies might have come up with Data Privacy Framework Regulations on their part, but for an actual privacy law to come into place, there are many hurdles to cross. Lawmakers have differed on data privacy bills being too loud or too lenient on tech companies, amongst various issues. Let’s hope the president and Democrats work together to bring an actual data privacy law into place.