Truyo: Don’t Expect National Privacy Legislation “Anytime Soon”

A privacy whirlwind is disrupting digital marketing. Apple is downgrading its mobile tracking device, and Google is killing third-party cookies on Chrome. In addition, as many as 20 states have passed or are working on legislation to protect consumer data.

But don’t expect national privacy legislation “anytime soon,” says Dan Clarke, president of Truyo, a privacy rights platform backed by Intel. I checked in with Clarke to get his perspective on the evolving privacy regulatory landscape.

What privacy legislation is coming down the pike? 

There is a lot of state activity happening right now. According to our contacts, we don’t have hope of federal legislation at this time, but we anticipate there could be some movement if perhaps states start implementing conflicting laws. At that point there may be some call for federal legislation. States are far more likely to pass and take the helm in protecting consumer privacy and do so quickly. We’re currently tracking over 20 states that have pending legislation.

How does the Virginia privacy law change the status quo? 

It’s a significant change in the privacy landscape to have an additional player like Virginia join California. We haven’t seen a lot of enforcement action out of California, but as more states follow suit with privacy legislation, those changes will drive further exposure and compliance. 

The more that consumers become aware of their rights, the more you’ll see third parties engaged in privacy legislation. The mechanics of the law are almost always unique to the state. For example, Virginia is very different when compared to GDPR or CCPA, so it’s a massive change to the status quo to have additional states advance their privacy laws. 

Are coming laws likely to be more aggressive than CCPA or GDPR?

It’s not necessarily more or less aggressive when it comes to the legislation – it’s about the enforcement. The Virginia law more closely mirrors the rights under GDPR, and other states are more likely to extend the right of correction and right of appeal as we saw with Virginia.

What are the prospects of national legislation? 

Unfortunately, we don’t think there will be federal legislation anytime soon. We’re a huge proponent of national legislation that improves clarity for consumers. When it comes to preemption and private right of action there is a lot of disagreement, which leads to roadblocks. It hasn’t been a huge priority so far for this administration, and it’s unlikely to be a priority in the near future, unfortunately. 

Do you think the bigger privacy challenge is coming from politicians or Apple and Google?

The biggest challenge comes from consumers because they want transparency about their data and how it’s being used. Consumers are at a point where they want to be informed. If you keep an eye on Apple, you’ll see privacy highlighted in their ads. Apple emphasizes privacy because they realize that consumer protection and unambiguity when it comes to personal information can be a competitive advantage. 

This interview was edited for clarity and length.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018 and compiled the daily newsletter since 2016. Joe is a journalist who has written widely about technology, business, and politics. You can contact him at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.