Trump Administration Pushing For Data Privacy Laws: Report

The Trump administration is presently in the process of discussing a new data privacy policy as part of a wider push meant to result in concrete legislation regulating the manner in which digital user information is collected, stored, managed, and utilized, Reuters reports, citing Commerce Department official David Redl and White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters. While the executive branch of the government isn't in charge of passing laws, the administration's current idea is to define a set of measures intended to address the growing debate surrounding digital privacy and eventually suggest those policies are codified by Congress.

Ms. Walters said the White House National Economic Council is presently leading the initiative in question and is planning to collaborate with Capitol Hill on seeing it turned into legislation at some point in the future, though no specific completion timeframe has been attached to the effort. Mr. Redl confirmed the administration is presently discussing the matter with a number of stakeholders so as to identify the proper approach toward regulating digital privacy. As enacting laws is the responsibility of the legislative branch, the U.S. administration is primarily seeking to agree on "core, high-level principles" of data privacy regulation and will leave the rest to Congress, providing assistance where necessary, the official suggested. Mr. Redl also referenced a recent government survey that found some 75-percent of Internet-connected households in the United States currently have major concerns about their online privacy and security.

As the effort is still understood to be in an early phase of development, it's unlikely to amount to any concrete legislative moves until next year. The U.S. government's push to codify digital privacy rules comes two months after the General Data Protection Regulation came into effect in the European Union as one of the strictest such laws ever enacted in the Western world. The American version of the legislation is unlikely to be as tough on digital privacy as the GDPR, with Ms. Walters saying the White House is interested in finding "the appropriate balance between privacy and prosperity." The topic of digital privacy started being more intensely debated among the general public this spring after the emergence of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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