Last month, Europe implemented its General Data Protection Regulation in an effort to protect the data of all individuals within the European Union, with some aspects affecting users worldwide. According to a new report by Axios, the White House is "in the early stages" of figuring out what a federal approach to online data privacy would look like in the United States.

So far, special assistant to President Trump on tech, telecom, and cyber policy Gail Slater has met with industry groups about the issue. Discussions include possible "guardrails" for the use of personal data online, according to a few sources familiar with the talks. Furthermore, Slater has talked about the implementation of GDPR with Dean Garfield, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents tech companies like Apple and Google.

white house image wikimedia commons


Slater and the Trump administration have reportedly referred to the U.S. proposal as a "counter-weight to GDPR," aimed at ensuring that the European law doesn't become the global standard of online privacy, sources said. Still, Slater also stated that there is no desire to create a "U.S. clone" of the European rules.

Axios theorized that one possible outcome from the conversations could be an executive order that leads to the development of a privacy framework for U.S. citizens.

One option is an executive order directing one or more agencies to develop a privacy framework. That could direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an arm of the Commerce Department, to work with industry and other experts to come up with guidelines, according to two sources.

An executive order could also kick off a public-private partnership to lay out voluntary privacy best practices, which could become de-facto standards, according to sources.

News about the potential new privacy practices comes as "pressure" is being placed on lawmakers in the U.S., following high-profile data breaches like the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. Beginning with reports in March, it was discovered that Facebook was connected with consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which itself was tied to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Using a survey app called "This Is Your Digital Life," the firm secretly amassed data from millions of Facebook users that targeted and attempted to sway votes in the election.

Slater claimed that "giving consumers more control over their data" and "more access to their data" are high marks of the GDPR, suggesting these aspects would be emphasized in the U.S. law.

"We're talking through what, if anything, the administration could and should be doing" on privacy, Slater said at a conference hosted last month by the National Venture Capital Association

In the wake of GDPR, Apple itself launched a new Data & Privacy website that lets users download all of the data associated with their Apple ID. While the feature was limited to Apple accounts registered in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland at launch, Apple said it will roll out the service worldwide "in the coming months."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Schranke Avatar
37 months ago
For some reason I do not trust the US with formulating privacy laws. For a modern western country I think they are some of the worst offenders when it comes to disrespect it.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mmcneil Avatar
37 months ago
I would prefer the European standard become the de facto standard.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dave-Z Avatar
37 months ago
Trump's privacy policy will include free access to all information, no encryption, and of course a consent form to release custody of your children to the government*.

*Kidding... Obviously they won't ask for permission.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chucker23n1 Avatar
37 months ago
I'm all for data privacy. However, to me, when it comes to GDPR, it seems ludicrous, and quite illegal, that any business in any country outside the EU should be beholden to any policy passed by the EU. EU law should have ZERO legitimacy outside of the EU. Otherwise, what's to stop any country/countries from setting international law all on their own. Crazy.
Companies can feel free not to do business with EU citizens and processors.

IMO, if EU citizens want to use services operated or hosted outside the EU that collect data, they do so at their own risk and without the protections or guarantees of GDPR. Simple as that.
That may be your opinion, but it's not the law.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JRobinsonJr Avatar
37 months ago
While it's easy and reasonable to disagree on the details, the idea of a core, globally applicable set of individual privacy standards would make the underlying security processes far easier... and thus more effective. Too often companies have to implement different sets of controls for each region, making such development more difficult and prone to error.

Now... who should set that standard? Good question. It's going to have to come from a combination of industry leadership - both technology and consumer - and governments. Many people will balk at government involvement - and I don't generally disagree with the premise - but the reality is that without such participation there will be no mandate or enforcement.

GDPR is actually a great start and could, IMO, be leveraged. After all, most companies are already taking requisite measures... so there is little to no additional cost with significant benefit to the rest of the world.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vipergts2207 Avatar
37 months ago
I'm all for data privacy. However, to me, when it comes to GDPR, it seems ludicrous, and quite illegal, that any business in any country outside the EU should be beholden to any policy passed by the EU. EU law should have ZERO legitimacy outside of the EU. Otherwise, what's to stop any country/countries from setting international law all on their own. Crazy.

IMO, if EU citizens want to use services operated or hosted outside the EU that collect data, they do so at their own risk and without the protections or guarantees of GDPR. Simple as that.
If you want to do business in a country then you follow their rules. Doesn't matter if it's a foreign-based company or not. The alternative choice is to not do business in that country, and obviously these companies have chosen not to do that because quite frankly that would be a financially stupid decision. Conversely, foreign-based companies operating in the U.S. also have to follow U.S. law. This isn't a new concept so I'm not sure why you're acting as such.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...
tim cook toronto star

Tim Cook Says Apple is 'Not Against Digital Advertising' Ahead of iOS 14.5 Launch With App Tracking Transparency

Monday April 12, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be requiring apps to receive a user's permission to track their activity for targeted advertising purposes, as part of a privacy measure known as App Tracking Transparency. Ahead of App Tracking Transparency being enforced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has participated in a privacy-focused interview with the Toronto Star, telling the...
a13 bionic mockup

Apple Made Sudden Security Changes to its Chips in Fall 2020

Monday April 12, 2021 8:15 am PDT by
Apple made unusual mid-production hardware changes to the A12, A13, and S5 processors in its devices in the fall of 2020 to update the Secure Storage Component, according to Apple Support documents. According to an Apple Support page, spotted by Twitter user Andrew Pantyukhin, Apple changed the Secure Enclave in a number of products in the fall of 2020:Note: A12, A13, S4, and S5 products...
HomePod G4 Feature

Bloomberg: Future HomePod May Feature iPad Connected Via Robotic Arm to Track Users Around The Room During FaceTime Calls

Monday April 12, 2021 3:50 am PDT by
In a report outlining a possible Apple TV with a combined HomePod and camera, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that Apple is exploring a future high-end HomePod speaker that could include an iPad connected via a robotic arm that tracks and follows users around a room. From the report: The Cupertino, California-based technology giant, is also mulling the launch of a high-end speaker with a touch ...