The Record: Federal privacy legislation is the ‘foundation for any AI efforts,’ key lawmaker says 

September 20, 2023

The various state laws are problematic because of their “spectrum of strength,” said co-panelist Alan Butler, the executive director of EPIC. 

Citing a recently passed Washington health privacy data bill and the pioneering California privacy bill as examples of strong legislation, Butler observed that the myriad of other state laws in many cases raise as many questions as they answer. 

The McMorris Rogers-led bill that died last Congress was a strong enough bill to be worth the tradeoffs privacy advocates had to swallow, Butler said. 

He worries about the prospects for a similar bill passing this Congress, saying there’s a lot of “uncertainty” right now. 

Comprehensive federal privacy legislation is not meant “to cement the past,” Butler said. “It’s meant to change the status quo and we believe that the bipartisan federal legislation that we and many others gave input on last year did that in a strong way.” 

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