The regulatory approaches of the EU and the US in the realm of personal data remain to be studied. This article analyzes regulatory approaches of the two digital economy giants from a comparative perspective. It finds that even though huge divergences exist in the substantive rules of personal data protection between the EU and the US, they share the de facto common strategies that have been applied to the regulation. In particular, the regulation focus of personal data has been shifted to the internal data protection systems of private sectors. For regulators, collaborative governance and contextual approaches are the preference in comparison with traditional top-down regulation. On this basis, this article analyzes the current regulatory approaches of the EU and the US. As articulated by Ari Ezra Waldman, the shift of regulatory approaches can be categorized as a “second wave of privacy law.” This article also points out the potential pitfalls the current approaches may fall into.



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