In the last several months, a series of tech company executives have sat before Senate and House panels, peppered with questions, smart ones at that, about how their companies protect data. Imagine that, Congress asking prescient questions about a tech-related subject. The hearings held on Capitol Hill marked a turning point of sorts – lawmakers motivated to act on privacy…and au courant to boot. Well, sort of.

Fueled by a spate of state privacy bills, including the hard-nosed California Consumer Privacy Act and some eye-popping, difficult-to-ignore privacy violations, it seems Congress is finally motivated and engaged. And that puts a national law, on par with Europe’s GDPR, within spittin’ distance, as they say down South.

“The tectonic plates are coming together,” says J. Trevor Hughes, president of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). “Whether that creates an earthquake or a volcano remains to be seen.”

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