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Anticipation Mounts: New Federal Privacy Standards on the Horizon

Anticipation Mounts: New Federal Privacy Standards on the Horizon

A pivotal moment recently occurred as the White House gears up to unveil an Executive Order, anticipated under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), aimed at curtailing certain foreign adversaries’ access to American citizens’ personal data. This forthcoming Executive Order, while not designed to establish a comprehensive cybersecurity framework, is poised to signal a crucial step towards safeguarding Americans’ personal information from external threats.

The urgency surrounding this Executive Order is underscored by a recent Department of Justice Fact Sheet, which emphasizes the significance of addressing the influx of Americans’ “bulk sensitive data” falling into the hands of foreign governments. Such a scenario is deemed a pressing national security concern, necessitating proactive measures. The Fact Sheet alludes to forthcoming actions, including the issuance of an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will facilitate a deeper exploration of specific aspects of the initiative following a period of public input and deliberation.

Of particular concern is the increasing utilization of advanced technologies by designated “Countries of Concern,” including China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. These nations are noted for their adeptness in utilizing big-data analytics, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computing to manipulate and exploit sensitive data for nefarious activities. The Fact Sheet underscores the urgency of addressing these threats and implementing robust measures to mitigate risks.

Outlined within the Fact Sheet is a skeletal framework of the impending regulations, which delineates categories of “Covered Persons” and defines “Sensitive Personal Data” comprehensively. The scope of sensitive personal data includes various identifiers such as personal identifiers, geolocation data, biometric information, human multi-omic data, personal health records, and financial data. Notably, the framework targets specific transactions involving data sharing and aims to prevent bulk transfers of such data to identified countries.

For instance, with companies like Volvo, Motorola, Smithfield Foods, GE Appliances, and AMC under Chinese conglomerates’ ownership, a wide array of businesses could potentially fall within the purview of “Covered Persons” as outlined in the Fact Sheet. This underscores the far-reaching implications of the forthcoming regulations and the need for businesses to assess their compliance obligations proactively.

The Executive Order is poised to impose significant restrictions on bulk data transfers to designated countries, with violations subject to civil and criminal penalties under the IEEPA. While the Order itself does not impose immediate legal obligations, compliance will become mandatory upon the issuance of final rules. This underscores the importance of businesses establishing robust compliance programs to ensure adherence to the forthcoming standards.

As developments continue to unfold, Jeffrey M. Rosenblum, P.C. remains steadfast in its commitment to monitoring the evolving regulatory landscape. The firm stands ready to provide comprehensive assistance and guidance to businesses, ensuring they navigate compliance with the forthcoming standards effectively. This includes staying abreast of updates, providing legal analysis, and assisting in the development and implementation of tailored compliance strategies.

In conclusion, as the regulatory landscape evolves and new privacy standards emerge, businesses must remain vigilant and proactive in addressing compliance obligations. By partnering with experienced legal counsel and leveraging resources such as those offered by Jeffrey M. Rosenblum, P.C., businesses can navigate these challenges effectively, safeguarding both their interests and the privacy rights of individuals.

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