Movement toward a U.S. privacy framework is gaining steam this week as lobbying efforts in Washington intensify ahead of the release of White House document outlining an initial approach to consumer privacy and a highly anticipated Congressional hearing Wednesday in which privacy professionals from several major tech companies will testify.
An “unpublished Notice by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration,” an arm of the Department of Commerce, has appeared on the Federal Registry and includes a PDF requesting public comment by October 26 on a federal approach to consumer privacy. Through the NTIA’s request for comment, “the Administration will determine the best path toward protecting individual’s [sic] privacy while fostering innovation,” the document states. “The time is ripe for this Administration to provide the leadership needed to ensure that the United States remains at the forefront of enabling innovation with strong privacy protections.”
A driving force behind a federal mandate, according to the NTIA document, are industry and White House concerns that the EU General Data Protection Regulation and “a growing number of foreign countries, and some U.S. states, have articulated distinct visions for how to address privacy concerns, leading to a nationally and globally fragmented regulatory landscape.” The aim of a framework, according to the NTIA, is to reduce regulatory fragmentation and increase national and global interoperability.