Beyond Checkboxes: Privacy Protections That Work for the Future Generation

Meri Baghdasaryan is an international lawyer currently working as a Senior Case and Policy Officer at the Oversight Board. Lama Mohammed is a public affairs and communications expert specializing in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and privacy. Reema Moussa is a J.D. Candidate at USC Gould School of Law. 2023 will be remembered as a momentous year for state privacy regulation in the United States. While federal privacy legislation appears stalled, privacy laws are slowly taking effect in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. Meanwhile, the recent US-European Union Data Privacy Framework has passed the EU’s adequacy threshold (for now). Globally, new privacy laws continue to pop up, from Tanzania to Indonesia, and from Cuba to India. These developments are coupled with fast-paced advances in the field of generative artificial intelligence (AI), which brings about various privacy, trust and safety, intellectual property, and bias issues.  But do these laws actually make consumers feel more private? Do they make us safer in this digital age of pervasive CCTV and other surveillance systems, when our online activity can be tracked and used against us when trying to exercise fundamental intimate privacy rights?  Privacy threats are everywhere and are multi-sectoral. But do consumers, policymakers or privacy professionals view it in that light? Are privacy norms and practices aimed at compliance, allowing companies and government agencies to check boxes and call it a day on their privacy-ensuring efforts — or do they strive to go further and build user…Beyond Checkboxes: Privacy Protections That Work for the Future Generation