Although privacy has been around for quite some time, it has picked up speed within the last fifty years or so. Triggered by the advancements in technology that make the collection, storage, and use of data commonplace in today’s data-driven world, new privacy regulations and data protection standards have begun to spread like wildfire across the globe. Consumers continue to advocate for their right to privacy as they face the privacy paradox—the desire to protect one’s own privacy, while at the same time being forced to give it up as the cost of doing business in our data driven world. With the prevalence of data breaches, which are costly to individuals and organizations alike, the European Union took big steps to protect consumer data. In the United States, companies of all sizes like Amazon and Evite are scrambling to achieve compliance with these standards as they come up one at a time. However, the differences between individual regulations make it quite onerous for companies to comply with them all. The ability to comply is directly related to the number of resources an organization possesses. The more resourceful the organization is, the more likely it will achieve compliance. The less resourceful, the less likely the organization will achieve compliance resulting in dangerous practices like feigning ignorance or actively avoiding compliance efforts altogether. Noncompliance hurts consumers as evidenced by the effects of data breaches and identity theft, but it also hurts organizations through loss of business because they cannot compete the way that other organizations can. The best way to ensure data protection is for the United States federal government to implement a universal standard for its companies to adhere to. If this singular standard can incorporate the prominent aspects of other privacy regulations from around the world, organizations will be better equipped to compete and secure their place in the international market.
Data Privacy: One Universal Regulation Eliminating the Many States of Legal Uncertainty,
St. Louis U. L.J.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.slu.edu/lj/vol65/iss4/9