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The Cisco headquarters, photographed in 2017. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Cisco called for a different kind of privacy regulation debate in the U.S in a blog post on Thursday.

The big picture: Other companies have called for privacy regulations before — Facebook and Apple come to mind. But the debate has focused in no small part on Facebook and Google-style business models involving data brokerages and ads. Cisco's new call is largely concerned with everything else.

What they're saying: "We’ve been discussing ads for 20 years. It’s an important problem, and I don’t dismiss it," Michelle Dennedy, Cisco vice president and chief privacy officer, told Codebook. "But it’s very different than a comprehensive plan. We can’t be just concerned with the revenue of 2 companies."

Cisco is asking, in part, to better understand how to engineer its own products, which are more business-focused than consumer-oriented, to abide by local and global privacy regimes.

  • Privacy laws are regionally inconsistent — both by state and by country — and siloed in the U.S. between different industries. The technical requirements to protect health care data in one state could contradict the requirements for "internet of things" information in another, even though a wireless pacemaker is both and needs to be operable in both states.
  • Cisco's concerns, said Dennedy, are closer to the infrastructural aspects of the internet, whereas the Big Tech companies tend to be concerned with web services that ride on top of that infrastructure.

The U.S. has never been great about unifying data privacy laws (see the struggles with a national breach notification standard), but Dennedy thinks this is a chance to do something big.

  • "I’ve been in privacy for over 20 years now," she said. "You can’t do my job without optimism."

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

The bomb cyclone and atmospheric river seen via satellite on Sunday. The center of the storm is at the middle of the comma shape, due west of Washington State. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.