Consumer Privacy Legislation Expected in Florida Legislature: Proponents Say “Florida Can’t Trust Big Tech”

McGuireWoods LLP

A major consumer privacy law is likely this legislative session in Florida that stands to jeopardize not only technology companies, but financial services, healthcare entities, and thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that rely on digital marketing and advertising to conduct business.

Florida legislators are generally pro-business, but this year could be an exception. Talks are well underway in both the House and Senate to rewrite Florida’s data privacy laws with a nod toward adopting components of the more restrictive California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which became effective January 2020.

Proponents of more consumer-focused privacy legislation are gearing up for a fight this session.

From a recent POLITICO Florida article:

Since its creation, Propel Florida has given $100,000 in political contributions to key Republicans and hired a lobbying team ahead of the 2021 legislative session.

“The fact of the matter is Floridians can’t trust Big Tech,” said Shaun Keck, who identified himself in an email as Propel Florida’s director. “For years, virtual platforms have been collecting personal, private information from all of us. After which they capitalize by renting and selling this private information.” (“Mystery Florida company lobbying to fight big tech,” Matt Dixon, December 10, 2020, Politico Pro)

Businesses that serve Florida consumers still have time to stand up and take notice, but the clock is ticking – committees start hearing bills on January 11, 2021, and session officially kicks off March 2.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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