The Future of Privacy Forum’s Omer Tene on Privacy Laws in the United StatesFeb 3, 2022
"Will 2022 be the year that the United States finally introduces federal privacy legislation?" asked Omer Tene, speaking to Orchid's Derek Silva on this week's episode of the Priv8 Podcast. Omer is a Senior Fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum, a privacy think tank advancing principled data practices for emerging technologies.
"This is one of the biggest unanswered questions in the privacy realm today. Federal privacy legislation has been in the works for a long time, especially for the last kind of two or three years," Omer said. "In all likelihood, this question will be answered within the next few months. With midterm elections approaching, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will likely focus their attention on this issue more than they have in the past.
"Additionally, the White House has been more active when it comes to privacy issues—for instance, in October, it announced a new initiative regarding fairness and equity in Artificial Intelligence.
"On top of that, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has changed leadership. The FTC has already done a lot of work on the privacy front in previous years, but I think there is an expectation that it will increase its law enforcement efforts across the board—on anti-competitive and antitrust practices, for example, but certainly also on privacy violations."
Omer also commented on state-level privacy legislation: "There are a host of states developing and implementing new privacy laws—California, Colorado, Virginia, Florida, New York, and others.
"Moving across the ocean to Europe, GDPR enforcement is becoming increasingly evident—just last year, there was a case where Amazon was slapped by a fine of almost a billion dollars. And more generally, GDPR-related fallout continues to disrupt data transfers between the EU and the US.
"So it seems that serious enforcement of privacy legislation is becoming more common around the globe," Omer said. "I think we can expect to see more on that front in 2022."