Why Is America So Far Behind Europe on Digital Privacy: Congress Talking

The congress has lately been happy to involve the technology CEO into the talks about the vulnerabilities of their online platforms to cyber-attacks. The congress has made hearings on the way they exploit and vacuum up information concerning their users.

However, as of now, the earrings are nothing more than a mere talk in the house. They have not yielded any fruits. The issues of online privacy are still as worse as it has been before. Here are some of the significant reasons why America has been trailing Europe in matters of digital privacy.

American Lawmakers are Late to the Party

Today, Europe has already made global privacy standards through the enactment of the general data protection regulation. This law was valid beginning 2018, and it tends to establish lots of privacy rights which have not been witnessed in the United States.

They have included a vital aspect of the powers that prompts the companies involved in the use of customer’s data to inform them in case there is a need to use such data. As such, user’s data cannot be used anywhere else without permission from the user.

Similarly, there needs to be consent seeking before such information is collected from the users which are not there in America yet. Today, it has been evident that Brussels is doing a lot more for American companies as compared to their congress when it comes to digital privacy. This is because their companies, especially the international one, have to adhere to the rules set by the European concerning private named personal data collection and usage.

The Americans Do Not Yet Implement the Most Stringent Privacy Law

The California consumer privacy act, which is known to be the most stringent privacy law in the united states, has not, however, been put into practice. It is projected to start operating in 2020 beginning January 1.

The same way as the European’s general data privacy regulation, the California law requires firms to take enough security measures in protecting data. It also ensures that consumers are offered their rights to request data access to the information gathered and recorded about them.

This law, which is still being held, is one of the best in the United States. It not only requires the consumers to know whether or not their private information is being sold but also can bar the companies from conducting the sale.

Lack of Preemption Clauses in the Senate Bills that Take Privacy Seriously

Today, the Senate bills which tend to take the privacy of consumers seriously have no preemption clauses. Take the DATA privacy act as an example; the law has similarities to the California regulation as well as to the Europeans’ GDPR.

In America today, two bills can substitute the other, and this has been seen to be a way of invalidating arbitration clauses that would be seen as the way to protect companies from personal lawsuits. In the California law, for instance, the consumer lawsuit is the hottest button issue since there are private action rights which exist on a limited form following the evident corporate lobbying.

Lack of Omnibus Approach on Most Bills on the Table

In the United States, not all the bills on the desk today have an omnibus approach. Some laws, such as the social media privacy bill tends to have exceedingly specific swipes at social media companies such as Facebook.

They, however, do not contribute much to the privacy of the consumers. However, all the provisions such as the one overriding the privacy users’ preferences are one that tends to alludes to what was done by Facebook in particular. This makes European laws stronger and more effective as compared to those of the United States.

Embarrassing Earlier Attempts by the Congress to Regulate Companies in the 1980s and 90s

According to the congressional records, the computer fraud and abuse act which was enacted in the year 1984 came about following the fantastical Hollywood film concerning the boy hacker. Other laws were also done following the threats of free pornography, which were as a result of questionable studies.

As a result of all these, the Americans got the wisdom that the technology industry should be left to its devices without the reinforcement of clueless legislation. It is for this reason that America has lagged in matters of digital privacy.


While America has been seen to be far much behind Europe when it comes to digital privacy, it should be understood that one bill should not be the end of the responsibility of the government to its beloved citizens. The congress is working up and down, right, left, and center to help the situation and protect its citizens from planned and unplanned digital fraud.