Following the enactment of the California Consumer Privacy Act ("CCPA"), many states have attempted to follow in California's footsteps by passing their own consumer data privacy laws. On April 21, 2021, the Florida State House of Representatives resoundingly passed consumer data privacy House Bill 969 ("HB 969" or "Florida Privacy Law"), by a vote of 118 to 1. HB 969 will now move on to the Florida State Senate, which has been slow to approve its own consumer privacy legislation, Senate Bill 1734 ("SB 1734"). The Senate must act quickly, if at all, before the Florida State Legislature adjourns on April 30, 2021. If the Florida Privacy Law is passed, the law will become effective on July 1, 2022.

What is included in the proposed Florida Privacy Law?

Proposed Florida Privacy Law

The Florida Privacy Law, as passed by the House of Representatives, would amend Florida Statute 501.171, and address the collection, use, sharing and security of consumer personal information. The Florida Privacy Law would revise the definition of "personal information," include additional data breach reporting requirements, and require companies that collect personal information to implement reasonable security practices and procedures to safeguard such information. Similar to the CCPA, HB 969 would require entities that collect consumer personal information to: 1) provide notice to consumers concerning their data collection and selling practices; 2) provide consumers with the ability to request that data be disclosed (right to know), deleted, and/or corrected; 3) allow consumers to opt-in or out of the sale or sharing of their personal information; and 4) prohibit companies from discriminating against consumers who exercise their privacy rights.

The Senate is Soon Set to Vote

It is hard to gauge whether HB 969 will be passed by the Florida State Senate. As stated, SB 1734 has not readily progressed through the Senate. While HB 969 is backed by Governor Ron DeSantis, the bill still needs to get approval on the Senate floor. The most obvious difference between the two bills is that HB 969 contains a private right of action for consumers that are affected by a data breach. Most significantly, and in a manner that is more expansive than the CCPA, consumers would also be afforded a private right of action for a company's failure to comply with consumers' requests to delete, opt-out, and/or correct their personal information. Currently, SB 1734 does not include a private right of action and bestows enforcement authority exclusively with the Florida State Attorney General's Office.

States Enacting More Consumer Data Privacy Laws

Recently, we blogged about how Virginia had voted to approve the Consumer Data Privacy Act ("CDPA"), becoming the second state in the nation to pass comprehensive consumer data privacy legislation. Consumer data privacy has become a hot topic among state legislatures that, if/when acted upon, will have a substantial impact on how businesses collect, store and share personal information. We will continue to monitor and update our readers on new state legislation. In the interim, businesses should: 1) assess and review their data collection, use and sharing practices; 2) implement comprehensive data security measures; and 3) work with competent counsel to get compliant when state legislative measures are enacted.

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