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BIGtoken Weekly Data Privacy Roundup

Enthusiasm from privacy advocates is growing as more states enter the fray to develop protections from data breaches. However, many hope these state court actions are a precursor to a long-awaited federal law.

1. “South Carolina Biometric Data Privacy Act Could Increase Compliance Obligations,” Biometric Update.com- June 24th, 2021

Maryland, Illinois, and South Carolina are newcomers to developing new privacy regulations. In South Carolina, consumers would be granted opt-out rights, and have the ability to access or delete their biometric data, amongst other protections. Enforcement, similar to other states, would come through privacy rights legal actions.

2. “Privacy Tip #289 – Lucky You if You Live in Utah,” The National Law Review- June 24th, 2021

Another state entrant to the privacy right’s debate is Utah.  The newly empaneled 12-member commission is evidence of the seriousness of Utah’s intention to protect the privacy of its citizens. Utah should be commended for setting-up a mechanism for the issue to be fully debated by a large group of people, rather than through backroom dealings.

3. “Data Privacy: The New Bipartisan Value,” Forbes- June 21st, 2021

As the privacy protection movement gains steam, there is a constant flow of media stories detailing Big Tech’s abuse of data and privacy breaches. The attacks are more sophisticated while the defenses against these breaches are clearly not keeping up. Additionally, there is a public outcry for federal bipartisan support of privacy legislation. Kudos to more states for taking up the privacy rights cause, but the meaningful changes need to come from the federal government. As is often the case, the demand from a significant portion of the population is likely to be the trigger for the government to react appropriately.

The deeper people dig into privacy violations, the greater privacy concerns become. The latest round of allegations emerged from TikTok’s violation and mis-use of children’s data and the terrible protections developed by many healthcare apps. Two critical topics that must be rectified.

4. “Group Demands TikTok Pay Dutch Children Over $1M in Damages Over Privacy Data Violations,” Newsweek- June 24th, 2021

Privacy advocates have alleged that TikTok has unlawfully collected personal data and exploited over 1.2 million Dutch children. Groups have stated their intention to take TikTok to court unless the data is deleted and the children are compensated. It will be interesting to see if TikTok, with so much of their business coming from younger generations, changes their privacy and data collection practices as a result of these allegations.

5. “What Data Privacy Risks Are Associated with Mobile Health Apps?” Health IT Security- June 23rd, 2021

Personal health privacy is arguably the most important data in need of protection. Unfortunately, problems with data exposure from health apps are particularly concerning given the importance of keeping this information safe and following HIPAA compliance.  Staggeringly, only 47% of health apps are complied with data privacy policies and 28% do not have a privacy policy at all. This troubling revelation of the severe problems with health apps must be fixed.