Florida House Passes Consumer Data Privacy Legislation

Husch Blackwell LLP

Keypoint: Florida moved one step closer to passing consumer data privacy legislation although differences between the House and Senate bills need to be resolved if the legislation is to pass the legislature.

On April 21, the Florida House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed HB 969 by a vote of 118 to 1. The bill was subsequently referred to the Senate Rules Committee.

Meanwhile, the Senate is still considering its version of consumer data privacy legislation, SB 1734. On April 9, the Senate bill was placed on the calendar for a second reading, but it has not moved since.

One of the primary differences between the two bills is that the House bill contains a private right of action for (1) certain types of data breaches; (2) failure to delete or correct a consumer’s personal information after receiving a verifiable consumer request or directions to delete or correct from a controller; and (3) continuing to sell or share a consumer’s personal information after the consumer chooses to opt-out. The bill allows for statutory damages of between $100 and $750 per consumer per incident.

Conversely, the consumer rights provided in the Senate bill would be enforceable by the state Attorney General’s office.

Of course, the proper method of enforcement is the same stumbling block that doomed the Washington Privacy Act in 2019, 2020, and (apparently) 2021.  Whether Florida lawmakers can reconcile their differences remains to be seen.

What is certain is that we will know shortly as the Florida legislature adjourns on April 30.

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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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