Data Protection in the United States: U.S. National Report
39 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2017 Last revised: 9 Feb 2018
Date Written: December 16, 2017
The United States follows a sectoral approach to data privacy protection. There is no all-encompassing federal legislation that ensures the privacy and protection of personal data. Instead, legislation at the federal level primarily protects data within sector-specific contexts. In contrast to Europe’s comprehensive Data Protection Directive, the United States relies on a combination of legislation at the federal and state levels, administrative regulations, as well as industry specific self-regulation guidelines. Privacy protection guarantees are sector specific and are located in a myriad of legislative instruments and case law. These statutes apply only to specific sectors such as “healthcare, education, communications, and financial services or, in the case of online data collection, to children.” Although, at first glance, comparative legal scholars are likely to dismiss America’s privacy protection framework as less robust than the European approach, in some respects, the American framework provides greater protection than in Europe.
Keywords: data protection, privacy regulations
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