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Online data privacy has begun to concern policymakers globally. Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Both Silicon Valley and privacy advocates are eyeing the potential for federal privacy legislation after California lawmakers passed their own sweeping measure.

Why it matters: In the wake of California’s bill and the recently-enacted General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union, industry may prefer a single national standard — and privacy advocates may applaud, too, preferring even partial nationwide rules to none at all.

The big picture: Many lawmakers have been working on privacy bills in the last several months, as concern has mounted on Capitol Hill about the way that online platforms use personal data. No single idea has broken through, however, and policymaking is likely to stall as the midterm elections approach.

There‘s the possibility a federal law could preempt state law in California and potentially other states that pass their own bills.

  • “I think that there is some discussion to be had about that,” said the the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Jordan Crenshaw, at a Thursday panel hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus. “In terms of what is preempted, in the long run I think the more we have the federal government involved with this data issue, that's better than the states creating a patchwork.”
  • He added that the business lobby was working towards developing its own privacy principles.

There was some optimism about the chances for a bill to move through Congress, despite a tough legislative environment. “I don’t know that the bill will look like I would hope, in my fevered imagination, but I think it’s possible that there will be elements of protection that get put into play,” said Michelle De Mooy, director of the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Privacy and Data Project.

The bottom line: The pressure on federal lawmakers will mount with the approach of the 2020 implementation date of the California law, which tech will also be lobbying to change.

New development: The White House backed the idea of federal privacy legislation on Friday morning.

Go deeper

Ro Khanna accuses Biden of quitting Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

Democrats eye reconciliation for immigration

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Comprehensive immigration reform is a pipe dream, but some Senate Democrats are hoping to tie key immigration provisions to the next big reconciliation push.

Why it matters: Immigration is one of the most controversial and partisan issues in U.S. politics, which is why the budget reconciliation process — which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes — is so attractive.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden meeting Quad amid own pivot toward Asia

Artists paint portraits of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Mumbai, India. Photo: Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

President Biden plans to meet this month with the leaders of Japan, Australia and India in a virtual summit of the so-called Quad, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: By putting a Quad meeting on the president’s schedule, the White House is signaling the importance of partnerships and alliances to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

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