In Privacy We Trust
Fortune|December 2018
In Privacy We Trust

American lawmakers and techies alike have called for a federal data privacy law like Europe’s GDPR. An impossible dream? Astonishingly, not anymore.

David Meyer

TECH

A YEAR AGO, THE IDEA of a federal data TECH privacy law in the U.S. was unthinkable for all but a handful of digital rights activists. As 2018 comes to a close, the prospect of such legislation has suddenly become very real.

In July, the White House said it was looking forward to working with Congress on “a consumer privacy protection policy that is the appropriate balance between privacy and prosperity.” And recent months have seen a deluge of data protection bills, mostly from Democrats.

Remarkably, Silicon Valley seems to be on board. In September, Apple and Google urged lawmakers to create new federal privacy legislation. A month later, Apple CEO Tim Cook demanded new rights for American consumers. “It’s time to face facts,” he said. “We will never achieve technology’s full potential without the full faith and confidence of the people who use it.”

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December 2018