Mi T. Tran


Today, it is easier than ever before for business entities to collect and sell our data, and most consumers lack comprehensive knowledge of how they can protect their data or recognize the true extent of potential exposure. Although data privacy regulation is gearing up among U.S. states, federal legislators have been stagnant in regard to passing a federal data privacy law. Without clearer, broader protections for consumers, many will be left to deal with overlapping laws and confusing procedures for pursuing legal remedies.

The relationship between federal and state regulation is best maintained when Congress carefully balances the different roles of each. In the context of data privacy, some legislators believe that the states should enact their own laws without federal interference, as some already have, while others believe that federal preemption is imperative to achieving the most efficient protection for consumer data. As the pressure piles on for Congress to pass a federal privacy law, a balanced approach is key to moving forward. This Note proposes a happy medium and explores a multilayered approach to preemption to achieve a uniform baseline for protection without displacing the states’ valuable regulatory role in the data privacy sphere.