January 28, 2019 will mark the tenth anniversary of Data Privacy Day. Even though the sponsors, messaging and website may have changed from 2010, 2011 and 2012, the overall idea that personal privacy rights should be specifically called out for celebration remains a powerful statement. In 2014, Congress jumped on board by issuing a Resolution designating January 28th as ‘‘National Data Privacy Day’’. Two years later, the 2016 celebration of Data Privacy Day crystalized why privacy stakeholders were starting to sound the alarm. And, by 2019 it has gotten to the point where even large technology companies are calling for regulatory action.
In the coming months, a divided Congress will likely begin a bipartisan effort to address one of the few bipartisan topics out there – data privacy rights. This effort may succeed if for no other reason next year launches California’s new data privacy regime and companies are feverishly lobbying behind the scenes to preempt this Consent Armageddon from materializing. In other words, there may soon be a “Data Property Day” coming into focus – the date when privacy rights that were born out of early constitutional and statutory underpinnings first became a basic property right.