As of August, more than 1,000 U.S. news sites were still blocking their European audiences following the May
implementation of the GDPR. The Los Angeles Times was willing to lose its European audiences rather than spend the money required to make their sites compliant with the new privacy codes.
But a growing portion of their American customers are also in support of stricter data privacy regulations at home and a notable voice from the tech world is backing them up.
At a privacy conference in the EU yesterday, Apple’s Tim Cook called for the U.S. to begin to explore its own version of the GDPR. Calling privacy a “fundamental human right,” Cook stated: “It is time for the rest of the world [...] to follow [the EU’s] lead. We at Apple are in full support of a comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States.”
(It's worth noting that such a law would have very little impact on Apple.)
Brian Kane, cofounder-COO of Sourcepoint, notes that Cook’s call for a privacy act comes as California is poised to implement its California Consumer Privacy Act in 2020. Rep. Ro Khanna, who represents California's 17th District, proposed an Internet Bill of Rights. (His district is located in the South and East San Francisco Bay Area.)
Kane told Publishing Insider: “We expect there will be a significant discussion in the industry about this through next year as we approach the 2020 implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act.
"While it’s too soon to say whether the U.S. ends up with its own version of GDPR, we can safely predict there will be some level of regulation that comes into play to ensure consumers are given greater control, and the ability to opt-in and provide consent for the use of personal data in the future.”
Ironically, the GDPR managed to make one of its hypothetical targets even stronger.
A study conducted by WhoTracks.me showed that Google overwhelming benefits from the GDPR, as publishers felt less confident or didn’t have the resources to police small ad tech vendors. Google’s closest U.S. competitor, Facebook, lost just over 6% of its market share, while small ad tech vendors showed a loss of nearly 32%.
The last thing advertisers and publishers need is to increase the strength of the duopoly, but perhaps any moves to protect data privacy for consumers in the U.S. can take away lessons from the GDPR rollout.
However, it’s all hypothetical at this point.“Tim Cook’s call for federal regulation of data privacy could provide additional impetus for the industry’s adoption of new approaches to the handling of user data,” Kane said. “The specifics are far from being worked out, but legislation at this scale could minimize regulatory burden, while also offering consumers greater control over how their data is used.”