Apr 18, 2018

Top tech lobbyist: EU privacy rules will "kill people"

Gary Shapiro's group is responsible for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The head of a major U.S. tech trade group made an alarming claim to lawmakers Wednesday: new European data privacy rules will cost lives.

Why it matters: Major U.S. tech companies are working to comply with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation that goes into effect next month, even as they try to head off potential privacy regulations stateside.

What they're saying: “Europe’s going forward with [GDPR] and frankly it’s going to hurt American companies," said Consumer Technology Association President Gary Shapiro at a House Oversight Committee hearing on artificial intelligence. “But it’s also going to kill people, because if you can’t transfer, for example, medical information from one hospital to another in the same region, that has life consequences.”

  • GDPR puts new requirements on how companies can use and share data collected from people in the European Union. It will go into effect next month.
  • Asked after the hearing if he wanted to clarify his statement, Shapiro directed Axios to Qualcomm Life Chief Medical Officer James Mault. Mault said that "GDPR is going in a direction that can very inevitably make it harder, more cumbersome, more expensive to share critical health information when it might really matter" but also said that users should have a clear view into how their medical data is being used and shared.
  • Qualcomm Life builds products that make use of medical data — including by storing it in the cloud — so has a financial stake in this debate.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 665,164 — Total deaths: 30,852 — Total recoveries: 140,225.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 124,665 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by early Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Gilead expands access to experimental coronavirus drug in emergency cases

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter Saturday the company is expanding access to its experimental anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir to include severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The big pig picture: President Trump has called the antiviral drug "promising," but the results of six clinical trials on this investigational medicine are still being conducted, so its effectiveness the treatment of the novel coronavirus has yet to be proved. The World Health Organization is involved in the tests.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health