Thought Leadership

Privacy Flash Five - Top Hits of 2021

Client Updates
Partner Cynthia Cole provides five key takeaways from 2021 across the global data privacy landscape.

1. China Enters the Personal Information Age

China’s long-awaited Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) went into effect November 1, 2021, and gives Chinese residents, and Beijing, more scrutiny over the commercial use of personal information. The law provides for strict consent mechanisms and more centralized control over internet content and companies operating in China.
2. European Commission Adopts Updated Standard Contractual Clauses
The European Commission adopted updated Standard Contractual Clauses for data transfers between EU and non-EU countries, after the Schrems II decision invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield. 

3. State Privacy Laws Keep Moving
In 2021, Virginia and Colorado became the second and third states, respectively, to pass comprehensive consumer data privacy regulation. The Virginia law and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) go into effect January 1, 2023; Colorado’s law goes into effect July 1, 2023.

4. FTC Revives Rulemaking

The Federal Trade Commission used 2021 to resurrect an intricate rulemaking process with stated goals of targeting AI, bias in data, digital surveillance, notice and consent for data use and data minimization.

5. Cybersecurity Goes High Profile 

Cybersecurity got an uplift in 2021 with companies scrambling to beef up defenses and protect assets as cybercriminals employed more sophisticated tactics against network infrastructure. The federal government initiated executive orders and new regulations in response to the increase in high-profile ransomware attacks.

Baker Botts recognizes that data-protection and privacy issues are a concern for all companies that gather, store, or process the sensitive or personal information of their customers, third parties or employees. Privacy regulations around the world change constantly and the growth in technology available to transfer, manipulate, process, and access data shows no sign of abating. Learn more about our Privacy and Data Security practice here.

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