Joe Biden wants a GDPR for the United States too

Joe Biden wants a GDPR for the United States too

Although far from perfect, the data privacy protections guaranteed by the GDPR - the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union (EU) enacted in 2018 - stand in stark contrast to the legislative vacuum of the United States, where there are no comprehensive federal laws on the subject. In his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 7, however, US President Joe Biden paid unprecedented attention to the need for measures to address the problem.

After the elections in mid-November terms handed control of the House back to the Republican Party, Biden said a data privacy bill could garner bipartisan support. It is an idea that has been gaining ground in recent years, and the references in the latest State of the Union address - the traditional annual meeting in the United States in which the president reports to the assembled Congress - sets a precedent and demonstrates that in the country, the matter should be at the center of the concerns of presidents and public opinion.

" We must hold social media companies accountable for the experiments they are conducting for profit on children - Biden said during the speech, prompting a standing ovation from members of both parties - It's time to pass bipartisan legislation that stops big techs from collecting personal data online about our children and teens. strict on the personal data that companies collect on all of us".

Joe Biden's predecessors rarely mentioned data privacy in State of the Union addresses. Donald Trump has never mentioned the issue, while Barack Obama has done so only once in 2014, in the wake of revelations about the size and scope of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. "Working with this Congress, I will reform our surveillance programs, because the vital work of our intelligence community depends on the public, here and abroad, having confidence that the privacy of ordinary people will not be violated," were Obama's words at the time.

During his first State of the Union address in 2022, Biden spoke about data privacy in relation to the protection of children: “ It is time to strengthen privacy safeguards, to ban advertising targeted to children, to ask tech companies to stop collecting personal data about our children ”.

This year's remarks Biden went further, signaling a change in the general perception of the urgency of improving data privacy protections in the United States. However, what is not clear is how much his words will lead to concrete actions in 2023. In his speech, Biden appealed to members of Congress for cooperation: " To my Republican friends: if we managed to work together in the last Congress , there's no reason we can't work together and find a consensus on important things in this as well,” Biden said.

Both US political camps agree that the previous Congress did not give great proof of efficiency and collaboration. By inserting data privacy references into his State of the Union address, Biden has further increased pressure for his administration and Congress to deliver concrete results on an issue that affects us all.

This article appeared originally at US.