Should America Regulate Data Privacy Like Europe?

August 12, 2021

Since its foundation, America has evolved from 13 idealistic colonies to a world superpower. The U.S. excels as a world leader in many crucial fields such as medical research, defense, aerospace and aviation, higher education, oil production, natural gas output, and technical innovation, just to name a few. Although the U.S. continues to dominate in these fields, there is one area in particular in which we trail: data privacy.

In 2016, the European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to give EU citizens greater control over their personal information and data. Under the GDPR, any organization that collects personal data must protect the rights of each data owner by ensuring that all personal information is collected legally and safeguarded from criminal abuse and exploitation. Since these organizations are legally obligated to adhere to these rules, they face strict penalties for any violations or infractions.

Unlike the EU, America’s data privacy regulations are a jumble of federal, state, and local laws, with an unhealthy dose of self-regulation from the big tech companies. This failure to provide strict and sweeping data privacy regulations has left US citizens vulnerable to a variety of criminal activity, fraud, and abuse. 

America needs stricter and more clearly defined protections for your personal data - but should it be a carbon copy of the GDPR? Below we’ll weigh some of the pros and cons. 


Pros of Adopting a GDPR-style Law

The biggest pro for adopting a GDPR-style data privacy law is the fact that the EU has already laid the groundwork for a new U.S. law. Since many American companies conduct business in the EU, they are legally obligated to comply with the GDPR. That being said, if U.S. data privacy laws and regulations were to closely follow the template set by the GDPR, this action would reduce the need to craft a different set of data protection regulations for U.S. consumers.

The other main benefit of adopting GDPR-style regulations in the US is that it could help establish a global standard between all of the world superpowers. This would not only hold U.S. and EU companies accountable, it would also protect citizens' data from any violations that stem from businesses operating in China and Russia.  


Cons of Adopting a GDPR-style Law

Although the GDPR has already laid the framework for a strict data privacy and protection law, what works for the EU may not work for the U.S. In fact, the GDPR may not be as effective as it’s perceived to be. According to many experts, the GDPR has actually resulted in very few fines and has provided a modicum of protection in the form of website privacy pop-notifications and the like. That’s not the robust protection that was promised.


Another negative aspect of following the EU’s path is that the GDPR could pave the path to bureaucracy. As President Reagan famously said, “Unless bureaucracy is constantly resisted, it breaks down representative government and overwhelms democracy.” Instead of one sweeping federal law, the US could continue its long-established tradition of allowing private companies to manage their products and services with minimal local, state, and federal regulation.


While our country continues to operate without a clearly defined path for establishing real and practical data privacy protections, there are measures that Americans can take themselves. Ideally, consumers will seek out companies that actively protect their personal data, like working with a private email service provider like Unlike the Big Tech free email providers, is not in the business of copying, scanning or selling your personal data. You value your freedom and right to privacy and so do we. Join now to protect your privacy today, tomorrow and each day going forward!



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