Privacy laws in the US are on the same level as in third-world countries, data shows

Published : Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 8:36 am
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According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, only 4 out of the 50 US states have enacted consumer data protection laws. Furthermore, the United States is falling behind third-world countries in establishing privacy laws that would protect its citizens.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented by the European Union (EU) in 2018 was a groundbreaking change for consumer data protection. GDPR set the standard for privacy regulations worldwide.

Companies based in the US were required to comply with GDPR as they serve millions of EU citizens. Facebook, Google, Apple, and other tech giants had to revise their privacy policies and create tools for customers to give them more control over their data.

The substantial increase in internet adoption across the globe has prompted several countries to enact data protection laws. The establishment of privacy acts in Africa, South America, and Asia has helped countries to align with the best global practices on data protection and privacy.

So why and how have American consumer data protection laws fallen behind and are in the same category as countries like Iraq or Ethiopia?

One of the reasons is that there is no agency in the US to enact privacy laws. In addition, big tech giants in the US have been opposing data protection regulations for years.

Cybersecurity writer at Atlas VPN Vilius Kardelis shares his thoughts on consumer data protection laws in the US:

“Congress could establish a consumer data protection legislation that proactively reacts to the digital age challenges to create a broader vision of human well-being. The US can not wait forever and will need to implement privacy laws sooner or later. The regulations they choose will have global consequences for data privacy.”

- Privacy laws in the US

California, Utah, Colorado, and Virginia are the only states with enacted consumer data protection laws. However, California is the only state with an effective Consumer Privacy Act. Data protection laws in the other states are set to take effect just in 2023.

Alaska, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont data protection bills are moving through committees in their chambers of origin.

In all other states, the consumer privacy bills are inactive, or no comprehensive bills were introduced at all. The internet has been around for a quarter-century, yet the United States has yet to implement legislation forcing its businesses to comply with meaningful data-privacy regulations.

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