GAFA: after hating GDPR, they hope for a data privacy law in the United States
Google, Twitter and Amazon are hopeful that Joe Biden’s future government will finally see the light of a federal digital data law, senior officials from those companies said Tuesday at CES, the annual electronics and tech show. ” The planets are more aligned than ever ”Keith Enright, chief data privacy officer at Google, remarked during a discussion about trust and privacy.
The European data protection regulation (GDPR), applied since May 2018, has largely contributed to making consumers aware of the issues related to the data that they submit to large digital platforms on a daily basis. This text has influenced California, which has had the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) for a year. This law guarantees the inhabitants of this state certain rights over their data (how it is collected and used, for commercial purposes or not). ” This greatly increases the chances that there is finally a political will at the federal level to create a uniform law, so that companies have a highway code and that users know what their rights are ”, said Keith Enright.
The weight of the Cambridge Analytica scandal
President-elect Joe Biden’s government will have plenty of leeway to legislate, as Democrats will control the House of Representatives and the Senate. He will also benefit from the experience of future vice-president Kamala Harris, former prosecutor of California, where the majority of the tech giants are located. ” There are over 100 national data privacy laws around the world ”, intervened Anne Toth, responsible for trust in services related to Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant.
” So we manage an endless patchwork of regulations and we try to minimize the differences ”. “Laws must be interoperable”, added Damien Kieran, director of data privacy at Twitter. “The federal government must think carefully about the international future of the text (…) if it is wrong, this increases the risk of a balkanization of the Internet”.
Silicon Valley has long been close to elected Democrats, but the relationship has deteriorated since the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, a British firm that had hijacked the personal data of tens of millions of users of Facebook for political propaganda purposes. Google is being sued for anti-competitive practices by the Department of Justice and a coalition of US states. Its YouTube platform, like Facebook and Twitter, are in the crosshairs of many elected officials for their management of personal information.