Happy GDPR Day!

Happy GDPR Day, everyone.

Interesting article in today’s Times about it.   For me, the most interesting takeaway is how the EU’s model data protection and privacy regulations are being disseminated to other nations and regions (e.g. Brazil and Japan), as a way to check Facebook, Google, and similar tech juggernauts.  As the New York Times, explains:

“Brazil, Japan and South Korea are set to follow Europe’s lead, with some having already passed similar data protection laws. European officials are encouraging copycats by tying data protection to some trade deals and arguing that a unified global approach is the only way to crimp Silicon Valley’s power.”

In other words, since (for now anyway) the U.S.  has proven itself unwilling to reign in Facebook, Google, etc., the EU and the rest of the industrialized free World has come to the conclusion that it has to.

Albeit in haphazard fashion, the current “America First” administration has made a concerted effort to withdraw the U.S. from the global stage, at least in any positive sense; withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord in the face of accelerating global surface temperatures, removing itself from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and tossing our Asian partners to the economic wolves (a Chinese wolf, to be exact), at best begrudging support for our NATO allies (who have only helped us block an expansionist Soviet Union/Russia for 70 years but, hey, what have you done for us lately?), and an ongoing effort to break up NAFTA in favor of…uh, who knows? Who cares? The Base loves it.

As the U.S. (which for most of my adult life was the beacon of the Free World (and free trade) and the global partner every nation wanted (or at the very least needed)) looks less and less like a steady, reliable partner and more and more like a willful bystander ceding its moral authority and relationships built up over decades to economic threats like China and democratic threats like Russia and Facebook, it will be interesting to see if such trans-national/regional-ex-U.S. cooperation will be applied to other areas, less out of desire and more out of necessity.

Ben Bhandhusavee is the Managing Attorney for BhandLaw, PLLC, a Phoenix business and technology law firm working with start-up companies, creative intellectual property, Internet and digital media matters, and complex corporate M&A and technology transactions.  Ben can be reached at (602) 678-2970 or by e-mail at bbhand@bhandlaw.com