Foremost privacy experts convene for D.C.’s Data Privacy Summit

Update: To capture the highlights of the event, watch the recap video here.

Leading thinkers in law, technology, and policy gathered on March 27, 2019 in Washington, D.C. to discuss how to protect privacy in the digital age. While countries around the world have implemented data protection laws, the United States — where the topic is commonly referred to as data privacy — has embraced a sectoral approach. However, scandals involving the misuse of personal user data, like Facebook’s sharing of user data with Cambridge Analytica, as well as the passage of privacy laws in a handful of states, have jointly drawn unprecedented attention to the issue in the U.S. and provided a moment where a comprehensive privacy law is not only possible, but probable.

The Data Privacy Summit examined the current data privacy debate, the underlying technologies, and the relationships between privacy and security, civil rights, and safety. It strived to find common ground and raise tough questions toward the ultimate goal of the passage of a comprehensive data protection framework in the United States.

The event featured keynotes FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, who is currently tasked with enforcing privacy under existing narrow authority; Congressman Ted Lieu, who is shaping data protection legislation; and Malka Older, a forward-looking author who has written about the future of politics and technology. Other speakers included representatives from companies, governments, legal practitioners, and academics.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal may have been a tipping point, but pressure continues to build as other companies and government agencies face questions around their handling of sensitive personal information. Access Now published its own vision for a data protection law that would limit processing to certain purposes through meaningful, opt-in consent and ensure users rights such as portability, explanation, and rectification.

Here are links to background materials:

Data protection in the United States: A proposed framework

Creating a Data Protection Framework: A Do’s and Don’ts Guide for Lawmakers

The Data Privacy Summit took place at the Eaton Hotel (1201 K Street NW). For the highlights, discussions, and outcomes of the event, please follow along at #DataPrivacySummit and watch the recap video on the event page.