Changing Views on Privacy

By on December 21, 2018

Executive Summary of an article written by
Julien Haure and Marine Hamon, Mayer Brown

There is a widespread shift underway in how U.S. citizens view protection of their personal data. Massive data breach scandals are a key cause behind this rising concern about privacy. A 2017 survey found that just nine percent of social media users were “very confident” that social media companies would protect their data. Six-in-ten Americans have said they would like to do more to protect their privacy. Additionally, two-thirds have said current laws are not good enough in protecting people’s privacy, and 64 percent support more regulation of advertisers.

California recently passed what is arguably the country’s strongest digital privacy law. It gives people the right to tell companies to delete their data, as well as to not share or sell their personal information, and makes it easier for consumers to sue companies following a data breach. Colorado just passed the “Protections for Consumer Data Privacy,” which significantly tightens reporting requirements for organizations hit by a data breach and requires much firmer measures be taken to protect consumers’ personal information. In May, Vermont passed the country’s first law regulating data brokers — organizations that buy and sell personal information.

With states taking the lead, the cultural shift in how we feel about privacy could spur big changes across the country, and even lead to comprehensive privacy legislation. The bottom line: People want more control, and more understanding of how their personal information is being used.

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