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Data Protection Law in the United States

  • 10 Apr 2019
  • 3 min read

The U.S. government is bringing a law which could allow people to see or prohibit the use of their data by tech firms.

  • This will be the first of its kind data protection law in the US at the national level.
  • The new law will control the ability of the largest technology companies to collect and make money off people's personal data. Companies would need permission to release such information.

Necessity for Such Law

  • The need for such a law was felt due to rising concern over the compromise of private data held by Facebook, Google, and other information technology (IT) giants.
  • In the US, the IT industry has been lightly regulated and has resisted closer oversight as a threat to its culture of free-wheeling innovation.
  • Support for privacy law is part of a broader effort by regulators and lawmakers to lessen the domination of companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon.
  • Recently, the US state of California also enacted data privacy law. The law allows California citizens to see the personal data being collected on them and where it's being distributed and to forbid the sale of it.
    • With some exceptions, consumers could also request that their personal information be deleted entirely.

‘GAFA’ tax plan

  • France parliament has approved a new tax on digital giants such as Facebook and Apple.
  • The legislation, called as “GAFA” after Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, comes amid rising public outrage at the minimal tax paid by some of the world’s richest firms.

India and Data Privacy

  • Recently, India has also enforced Data Localisation norms for Payment firms.
  • To address the issue of the protection of data the government of India has formed the BN Srikrishna Committee and has also brought Data Protection Bill 2018. Highlights of which are:
    • all personal data to which the law applies must have at least one serving copy stored in India
    • personal data critical to national interest must be stored and processed only in India
    • the Centre will have the power to exempt transfers on the basis of strategic or practical considerations.
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