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BIGtoken’s Data Privacy Weekly Roundup

Each week, we see a steady progression of new laws, regulations, and studies from the States concerning data privacy policies. At the same time, Big Tech continues to try to push “watered-down” versions of these new laws and regulations. While these debates take place, attorneys through the filing of litigation concerning data privacy rights have emerged as a key component in establishing the proper protections for a person’s personal data.

Data Privacy Bill Easily Clears House,” Florida Politics – April 21, 2021

  • In a continuation of the efforts of States to govern data privacy, the house in Florida almost unanimously passed a bill that would allow people to control how their data is shared and sold. Importantly, the current version of the Bill has “teeth” by enabling consumers to take legal action for violations of these regulations. As is often the case, many businesses contend that the Bill will be overly restrictive and expensive. Nonetheless, the Florida Bill has bipartisan support and the momentum to become law.

“Big Tech Is Pushing States To Pass Privacy Laws, And Yes, You Should Be Suspicious,” The Nextweb – April 19, 2021

  • As more States become focused on passing data privacy laws, they are becoming more challenged from Big Tech to dilute proposed privacy legislation. There are concerns that in 14 of the 20 States the data privacy rules have been eroded through the efforts of Big Tech companies. The concern about effective privacy laws at the State level coupled with variations of the laws should prompt the Federal Government to enter the data privacy fray sooner rather than later.

“Employee Data Privacy Lawsuits: A Growing Trend,” Forbes – April 22, 2021

  • As personal data protection becomes a greater priority in the digital world, regulations, consumer discontent and Big Tech privacy protocols are not enough. Critical to the success of the regulations and reforms comes in the form of enforcement. As has been the case for a long-time in the U.S. and around the world, lawsuits are often the driving force in the enforcement of new laws. One area that has witnessed increased litigation and protective rulings has been in the employer-employee relationships where companies are being forced to improve their safeguards over employee personal information.

Data privacy protections are not going to appear and be effective without major effort from consumers. Quite simply, people must be more active and selective in the apps they use and fully understand how their data is collected and used.

“Personal Data And Privacy: Social Media Users Must Realize There’s Always A Price To Pay For ‘Free’ Apps,” MSN – April 20, 2021

  • Social media participants are becoming increasingly aware that their social media activities create real privacy risks. In a survey conducted in Hong Kong, 35% of the users of instant messaging apps believe that access to their full contact information to be an invasion of their privacy. Many in this survey are not only concerned about how their data is collected and sold, they increasingly are more focused on how this data can be used to profile users, cyberbullying and fraud. The louder these concerns are voiced the stronger the governmental protections and meaningful changes in privacy policies will become.

“Everyone Wants Data Privacy, But No One Reads Privacy Agreements,” PCMag – April 19, 2021

  • While people want to protect the privacy of their data, it is going to take significant efforts to achieve this goal. Unfortunately, the results of a survey are not encouraging as over 70% of users do not read and/or only skim privacy policies. Only 11% read the full data privacy agreements. Clearly, data protection is going to take a lot of effort from people that want to protect their data.