Terry McAuliffe column: A federal privacy law Is essential to economic recovery | Columnists

William Arsn

Witness the recent case in which police use of ineffective facial recognition technology led to the arrest of an innocent African American man in Detroit. And while states are starting to step up to fill the gaps, a state-by-state approach will lead to conflicting privacy standards and leave Americans inconsistently protected across the U.S.

Meanwhile, companies, particularly small businesses, will be left scrambling to comply with each different state privacy law that comes online. A state-by-state approach is a recipe for privacy pandemonium.

It’s time for both parties to prioritize passing a federal privacy law that ensures consumers are protected while enabling innovative new products and services to boost the U.S. economy.

There already is strong bipartisan agreement on a number of measures that would empower consumers with respect to how their personal information is used and protected. Further, there is a consensus that companies should be prohibited from high-risk data uses, though there are divergent approaches for how exactly to accomplish this.

Most of the proposed privacy bills have, sadly, relied on a traditional notice and choice paradigm. But this approach places an immense burden on consumers to protect themselves by reading and understanding lengthy privacy policies. In our complex digital world, that model has proven ineffective in most contexts, leaving only a minor role for consent.

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