African Implications of the US Federal Financial Privacy Bill – Businessamlive

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BY MICHAEL IRENE, PhD

On June 23, 2022, a U.S. representative on the House Financial Services Committee released a discussion of a financial data privacy bill. If passed, this bill will ensure consumers have full control over how their personal information is used and allow them to stop data collection or request deletion at any time.

In addition, it will require so-called “covered entities” to disclose to consumers why they collect certain data, to use that data only for the stated purposes, and to give consumers the opportunity to opt out of collection. of data. Another requirement was placed on controllers in that they would be required to update their terms and conditions to use plain language that would not depict complexity and aim to ensure consistency across the country with respect to the overall management of consumer personal information.

Interestingly, various US states, due to statutory foundations, have drafted and implemented their own type of privacy laws. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), Child Online Protection Act (COPA), to name a few, have a strong hold on privacy in the United States. However, the implementation of this new bill will have a tougher demand on businesses in the United States and around the world.

African involvement therefore remains significant. As noted when the EU General Data Protection Regulation rocked the African business ecosystem after the regulation was implemented some four years ago, many businesses struggled, in especially in Africa, to deal with the rather strict laws, which led to a lot of guesswork and the implementation of inchoates. data privacy frameworks.

Again, the emergence of this current financial bill will affect African businesses that interact with American consumers and highlight the lack of an introspective approach to data governance and how stakeholders pay attention to the various global trends. I have stated quite copiously in this space that the organization of any modern business seeking to enter a global market is to create and maintain a data governance team focusing primarily on assets (how data would improve business), skills (having all the staff who would help improve the business methodology and implement the right approach) and, of course, governance (ensuring that there are some ethics in the use of data and that the data privacy laws are adhered to even as various facets of the business are developed).

Undoubtedly, the African continent only seems to follow when the West implements commercial acts. It is now up to business leaders and stakeholders in Africa to use this current climate to start formulating actions that would impact the global data economy. Localizing business approaches is not the best form of business today, but having a global mindset is what stakeholders in Africa need to start growing, which includes creating and passing the right set of bills that would allow these companies to jump onto the global front. The time, of course, is now; but hopefully the federal bill, once passed in the United States, will not significantly affect African businesses.

Michael Irene is a data and information governance practitioner based in London, UK. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK, and can be contacted via moshike@yahoo.com; twitter: @moshoke

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