TMW #171 | The Reformation of American Data Privacy

Apr 21, 2024

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The Reformation of American Data Privacy

Finally, the US has a modern privacy bill in the works at the national level. And it’s going to rock your world. 

A TMW PRO subscriber recently said to me that when reading along, she’ll find essays that are easy and fun to read, and some that are just plain old broccoli. What she meant was that it was good for her to read it, but the topic can be as boring as starting at the drywall. 

I’m here to announce that this essay, dear reader, is a big steaming serve of broccoli. 

Yes, that’s right! We’re going to talk about US politics and data privacy legislation. Boring! 

But we do need to examine what’s happening in this area because this week’s news has been a long time coming. Six long years after the GDPR, the United States finally has a modern bill to significantly regulate data privacy online. 

It’s called the American Privacy Rights Act of 2024 (APRA), and it’s a bill currently in the discussion draft stage, has bipartisan and bicameral support, and will serve as what TMW Researcher Keanu Taylor calls “GDPR in the USA” – sweeping data privacy reform that the United States has never seen before. 

I’m looking at this new bill as the culmination of the 2017–2024 technology culture, activism, and platform shifts. And if it gets signed into law, it will be a big deal. 

So will this new bill really become the next GDPR; spearheading a significant shift in how we approach data collection, sharing and measurement? Or will it just be another blip in the inexorable trudge towards a highly regulated and private internet?

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