US Privacy & Data Security Review 2024: State Laws, AI, and Healthcare Challenges

The Chambers USA research team share a unique insight into the changes many states have seen in relation to data privacy laws.

Published on 17 June 2024
Written by Eleanor Dobson
Eleanor Dobson

“State privacy law are making companies that had only focused on privacy in a limited way to now really shift to a compliance-first focus and be more proactive than reactive.”

Chambers research showed many firms and clients experienced a fairly turbulent 2023 and early 2024 as a result of a number of states followed California’s suit and adopting comprehensive data privacy laws and cybersecurity laws, including New Hampshire, Nebraska and Kentucky, among others. Clients are increasingly having to navigate multiple state privacy laws, some of which may contradict each other, which has seen privacy compliance leap to the forefront of organizations’ priorities.

The Rise of AI Governance

“The explosion of AI tools has had an impact on the risks facing companies, I think we're only starting to scratch that surface.”

Artificial Intelligence is on everyone’s mind and research findings underscored that the use of AI will accelerate privacy and data regulation and AI governance will become increasingly prominent. The Federal Trade Commission’s action against Rite Aid over the use of AI facial recognition technology is seen as a bellwether indication of regulators’ willingness to aggressively use existing law to challenge usage of novel technology, with more regulation surely to follow in the near future. 

Healthcare Data Privacy Challenges

Throughout 2023 law firms and their clients saw further shifts in healthcare privacy issues, with even more litigation and enforcement arising as consumer health privacy laws were introduced at a state-level. Interviewees particularly noted the scope of the My Health My Data Act instituted by the State of Washington as a significant compliance challenge for clients.

“What's interesting about that is that health data has suddenly moved beyond the definitions of what constitutes health data in HIPAA.”

Sources also noted increasing interest from the FTC in relation to digital health information, with notable examples including actions brought against Easy Healthcare and GoodRx. Research also revealed concerns over the use of AI in the healthcare space, notably the Department of Health and Human Services’ AI transparency rule. 

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Future Trends in Privacy and Data Security

While Congress has yet to enact a comprehensive federal privacy law akin to the EU’s GDPR, a number of state governments are forging ahead with their own policies. One example coming to the fore is children’s online safety, with a number of states drawing inspiration from California’s Age-Appropriate Design Code Act and increasing regulation on social media organizations’ collection of information from children in order to improve children’s online safety.

Chambers USA 2024 Privacy and Data Security Rankings

Chambers is here to differentiate the best talent for when it matters, our coverage of the privacy and data security practice includes comprehensive coverage of the nation’s leading full service practicesspecialists in healthcare privacy and those practice groups which specialize in civil and criminal privacy litigation.

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