When it comes to data privacy, the US lags many years behind the EU. Protecting privacy requires a full-hearted push from the top. The progress depends mainly on the new US administration by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Will they bring the necessary changes to protect personal data? If they do, here is a wish list.
- Announce privacy as a key area of focus.
- Establish a task force to organize data, privacy, and digital rights work. Appoint a White House czar to lead data privacy.
- Work with Congress to pass federal privacy legislation to restrict the collection, use, storage, and transfer of personal data.
- Establish a data protection agency.
- Stop or at least bring transparency to bulk data collection by federal agencies.
- Reform the US surveillance laws. Put the right privacy controls to oversee the federal government’s collection, use, storage, and surveillance of personal information.
- Restrict facial recognition and other biometric surveillance by federal authorities such as law enforcement, border control, etc.
- Strengthen COPPA to minimize data collection and sharing of children’s data through the exploding online education.
- Work with the EU to resolve broken legal constructs for cross-border data transfers.
- Importantly, allocate appropriate funding to enforce privacy laws beyond large tech Facebook, Google, etc.
By any means, the above list is not a complete list of things to protect consumer privacy. It is just a start.