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Cisco, Like Apple, Joins the Call for a Federal Privacy Law

Cisco is the latest tech giant to get behind a federal privacy law.

In a letter on Thursday, the company’s general counsel Mark Chandler threw Cisco’s support behind a federal privacy law that would ultimately allow for a single set of rules to govern how companies must protect user data. It’s a pitch other tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Google have made to the U.S. government in hopes of solidifying privacy laws across the country.

“In the coming weeks and months, we plan to engage in the conversation around the development of federal privacy legislation in the U.S.—and in similar conversations around national data privacy laws globally,” Chandler wrote in the letter, which was earlier obtained by Arstechnica. He added that Cisco wants to see a law that can “strike the right balance between free flows across national and regional boundaries necessary for innovation and the transparency, fairness, and accountability necessary for customers to feel confident in a digital society.”

While the European Union has pushed for codified privacy regulations with its GDPR, the U.S. has been loath to do the same. Instead, companies are operating under a mix of regulations that don’t necessarily provide enough insight for the average person to know whether their data is safe and how they can access it or delete it.

Tech companies have felt the pressure from users and regulators in recent years over how user data is handled. And in a bid to sidestep those complaints, they’ve called on federal legislation to create the rules and ensure everyone plays by those rules.

Still, there’s no sign of that happening anytime soon. Lawmakers have been quick to lambast tech companies for apparent privacy violations, but slow to support legislation that could control it. Looking ahead to the rest of 2019, it’s unknown whether that will change.