Cyber Talk Radio: Federal Data Privacy Law

Bret Piatt, CTR Host, and Natalie Wilson, from Langley & Banack - Episode 134 of Cyber Talk Radio

This past Saturday, April 20, episode 134 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Natalie Wilson, shareholder at Langley & Banack, to discuss recent progress in federal data protection and privacy law.

We start off the episode chatting about the evolution of privacy and federal data protection law, which has been constantly changing recently! Natalie gets a lot of questions about businesses that exist solely online and what laws they need to comply with — which really depend on what countries and states their clients are in, as well as the specific industry. Currently, there is a push for a more uniform, federal law that would provide more clear, uniform standards for compliance. Similarly, the recent implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 had some U.S.-based businesses unable to function in the European Union. Legislatures are doing a lot of catch-up work trying to create laws that apply to doing business online, because that didn’t exist at the time the original laws were made. The Cambridge Analytica scandal really made people aware of the large amount of data that’s being processed by computers, which go a step further and predict our future behavior patterns. The recent hearing on Policy Principles for a Federal Data Privacy Framework began the work of creating a proposed federal data protection framework. So far, they've learned about what laws on this topic should look like. So far, the emphasis has been on transparency of collection, usage and storage of consumer data as well as individual consumer choice. After the break, we dive into the contrast between the individual expectation of privacy in the physical versus online worlds.

If you’re interested in data privacy, here’s a link to a monologue episode where I talk about the realities of your own personal data as it relates to last year, when Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, testified before Congress. Before the break, we mentioned that our data is often tracked online, which can be perceived as convenient for many consumers. There’s a difference between our legal expectation of privacy and our social expectation of privacy. As a society, we are comfortable with a much higher level of tracking and analysis online. I give a helpful hint about controlling the amount of data that apps and services have about you: Go into your setting’s privacy management tools and don't allow it to keep you information! On the legal side, Natalie keeps up with legal issues in the news. Her background isn’t in computer science, rather she has specialized certification through the International Association of Privacy Professionals, which is available also to non-lawyers. Natalie also explains Senator Marco Rubio’s recently introduced federal privacy bill, which was not viewed favorably because it gives Congress the power to pass legislation, which means it will take much longer considering the current state of our Congress. Natalie ends the episode with an observation: The consensus across the political spectrum is that it’s important for people to know and understand how their data is being collected, used and shared.

Listen to the full episode replay to learn more about privacy and federal data protection law.

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