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Could Federal Privacy Law Happen in 2019?
Some payments people have suggested that this could be the year for mobile payments to take off. My take? Nah. I gave up on that thought several years ago, as I've made clear in some of my previous posts. I'm actually wondering if this will be the year that federal privacy legislation is enacted in the United States. The effects of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that took effect a year ago (see this Take on Payments post) are being felt in the United States and across the globe. The GDPR essentially has created a global standard for how companies should protect citizens' personal data and the rights of everyone to understand what data is being collected as well as how to opt out of this collection. While technically the GDPR applies only to EU citizens, even when traveling outside the European Union, most businesses have taken a cautious approach and are treating every transaction—financial or informational—that they process as something that could be covered under the GDPR.
A tangible impact of the GDPR in the United States is that the state of California has passed a data privacy law known as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) that is partly patterned after the GDPR. The CCPA gives California residents five basic rights related to data privacy:
- The right to know what personal information a business has collected about them, where it was obtained, how it is being used, and whether it is being disclosed or sold to other parties and, if so, to whom it is being disclosed or sold
- The right to access that personal information free of charge up to two times within a 12-month period
- The right to opt out of allowing a business to sell their personal information to third parties
- The right to have a business delete their personal information, except for information that is required to effect a transaction or comply with other regulatory requirements.
- The right to receive equal service and pricing from a business, even if they have exercised their privacy rights under the CCPA.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 17 states have mandated that their governmental websites and access portals state privacy policies and procedures. Additionally, other states have privacy laws related to privacy, such as children's online privacy, the monitoring of employee email, and e-reader policies.
Take On Payments has previously discussed the numerous efforts to introduce federal legislation regarding privacy and data breach notification with little traction. So why do I think change is in the air? The growing trend of states implementing privacy legislation is putting pressure on Congress to take action in order to have a consistent national policy and process that businesses operating across state lines can understand and follow.
What do you think?
By David Lott, a payments risk expert in the Retail Payments Risk Forum at the Atlanta Fed
-payments">Retail Payments Risk Forum at the Atlanta Fed