It’s no secret that multiple states are working on consumer privacy and data protection bills, while the country waits for Congress to come up with something that will span the nation. Florida is one of the latest to join the ranks of such states, with a bill in development aimed at protecting consumer privacy and data. Site Impact knows that it’s important to stay on top of regulations--even while they’re still pending. So today we’re going over what the bill contains so far, and what the reaction has been.
The Consumer Data Privacy Bill, as it’s titled, debuted in February of this year and is currently still in development. In broad strokes, it currently requires businesses to notify customers about data collection, and allow consumers to opt out of the sale of their personal data, as well as its processing for purposes of targeted ads. By personal information, the bill clarifies that it’s referring to even anonymized data, including information that “identifies, relates to, describes, is reasonably capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly indirectly, with a particular consumer or household.” The law as currently written would allow consumers to sue for up to $750 in damages per violation, and empowers state authorities to seek fines ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 per violation.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, digital advertising and marketing companies have asked Florida’s legislature not to pass the law--at least, not as it’s currently written. The objections to the proposed law are similar to the ones that met the CCPA, and GDPR, and all other attempts by government and regulators to make the advertising industry, including email marketing platforms, more accountable for the collection, storage, and use of consumer data. But the proposed Florida law brings up a brand new objection by advertising executives: they don’t want consumers to have the ability to bring private lawsuits for infractions against the law. Bills are also pending in Oklahoma, New York, New Jersey, and as we’ve mentioned before, Washington. All of the laws are attempts by the states to get some regulatory control over data collection in digital advertising, which has been a growing and continuous concern among consumers particularly in light of breaches of sensitive data that have gone on in recent years. It’s definitely inconvenient for email marketing companies, and other digital advertising operations, to attempt to comply with 50 different regulations instead of one sweeping law to cover the whole country; but it’s hard to say when Congress will be able to pass a Federal law on the topic.
As Florida joins the growing list of states working towards enacting new privacy legislation aimed at the advertising industry and in the name of consumers, the industry has started fighting back harder. While the new law proposed by the Florida legislature still hasn’t passed--and therefore is still subject to changes--it would mean a new set of rules to comply with, and new, expensive consequences for businesses that aren’t in line with the law. Contact Site Impact to hear how we stay on top of regulations around the world.