The United States Congress is considering the opinions of various stakeholders on the question of a federal privacy law. In a hearing held at the U.S. House of Representatives, industry stakeholders like the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) urged Congress to enact a federal privacy law that would preempt state laws, arguing that state laws are not only complicated to navigate through due to their patchwork approach, but are also too strict for the industry, with the example of California’s looming Consumer Privacy Protection Act.

The Congressional hearings are backed by a report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), which encourages Congress to “consider developing comprehensive legislation on Internet privacy that would enhance consumer protections and provide flexibility to address a rapidly evolving Internet environment”.

At the same time, other industry voices are specifically encouraging Congress to enact a law similar to the GDPR. Cisco’s General Counsel explained that the company “believes that the GDPR works well” and that with some changes, the same needs to be done in the United States. Apple’s Tim Cook has also been quoted supporting the adoption of a GDPR-like law in the United States.

Click HERE to read the GAO’s report.

This article was published in the Internet, Cyber and Copyright Group’s February 2019 Newsletter.