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BIGtoken Weekly Data Privacy Roundup

It’s important for Congress to pass federal data privacy legislation this year to help simplify compliance and lower costs for businesses. The government is also considering updating data privacy laws in schools to offer more protection for students.

“Why Congress should pass data privacy legislation in 2022,” The Hill- January 24, 2022

Congress has been debating passing a federal data privacy law for years. Although several states have passed privacy laws, enforcing many different state regulations can be very costly to both in-state and out-of-state businesses. It is estimated that “state privacy laws could impose costs on out-of-state businesses of $98 to $112 billion annually.” A federal data privacy law would simplify compliance for businesses since they would only need to follow one set of rules. Hopefully, a comprehensive data privacy law is a top priority for Congress this year.

Student Data Security and Privacy Must Be Taken More Seriously,” The Journal- January 24, 2022

The use of video conferencing platforms has skyrocketed during the covid pandemic and has been extremely valuable for remote learning in schools. However, cybersecurity incidents have increased, and the government believes regulations need to be updated to offer students additional data privacy protection. An updated law will also ensure that student information is not vulnerable to a data breach.

Google is being sued for using design tricks that encourage users to share more of their location data. Consumer protection laws also need to be updated in healthcare to ensure that health data breaches do not occur.

Google deceived consumers about how it profits from their location data, attorneys general allege in lawsuits,” The Washington Post- January 24th, 2022

Google is being sued for using unethical methods to obtain access to consumers’ location data. The lawsuit claims that Google “has designed its products to repeatedly nudge or pressure people to provide more and more location data.” The company is alleged to using “dark patterns” such as deceiving alerts that say that “certain apps wouldn’t function properly if they turn their location sharing off.” It’s time for Congress to pass a law to prevent big tech companies like Google from being able to use “design practices” that could mislead consumers.

“Why Data Privacy is Crucial to the Future of Healthcare,” Raconteur- January 19th, 2022

Use of online healthcare services have rapidly increased during the covid pandemic. Unfortunately, with increased use of telehealth services comes growing concern with privacy when sharing patients’ health data online. With healthcare data breaches doubling since 2014, it’s important to encrypt data, restrict access, and educate healthcare staff on proper data usage.