Proposed Law: The Florida Consumer Data Privacy Act
On January 14th, 2020, the Consumer Data Privacy Act (House Bill 963) was officially introduced in the Florida State House of Representatives. There is also a corresponding bill in the Florida State Senate (SB 1670).
If passed and signed into law, these laws, referred to as the Florida Consumer Data Privacy Act, would put new obligations on businesses and organizations that operate websites targeted at Florida consumers. Here, our West Palm Beach business and consumer fraud lawyers explain the key things you need to know about the Florida Consumer Data Protection Act.
Florida Consumer Data Privacy Act: Understanding the Basics
What Would the Law Do?
In its current form, the Florida Consumer Data Privacy Act would require many website operators to disclose what data is being collected and sold. It would also allow consumers to opt out of having certain types of data sold to third parties. Indeed, under the legislation, a Florida consumer would have the right to submit an official request to prevent a commercial entity from selling certain personal data.
Who and What Does the Law Apply to?
Consumer data refers to data related to individual users. As far as businesses/organizations, the law puts obligations on the “operators” of commercial websites. It applies to those who own and operate commercial-based sites that collect data related to Florida residents. Personal data is defined in a relatively broad manner. Among other things, it includes a consumer’s:
- Email address;
- Phone number;
- Social Security number; and
- Other information that would allow for the identification of the consumer.
Key Limitation: No Private Right of Action
As drafted, Florida’s consumer data protection reform does not contain a private right of action—this is in sharp contrast to the data privacy law passed in California last year. If the bill is passed into law, consumers would likely not be able to sue business for violations. Instead, violations could be reported to the Florida Attorney General. Regulators would then, if warranted, take civil action against the violator. The maximum civil penalty under the proposed bill is $5,000 per violation.
Will the Bill Actually Pass?
Maybe. At this point, it is still unclear if Florida’s Consumer Data Privacy Act will gain traction. That being said, this is an important issue and it is possible that new regulations are coming in the new future. Florida is far from the only state considering this type of legislation. Similar state laws are being reviewed throughout the country—from Washington to New Hampshire. Our Florida business lawyers will keep a close watch on any legal developments.
Call Our Florida Business Law Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our South Florida business attorneys are committed to providing high-quality, results-focused legal representation to clients. If you have any questions about Florida’s data security laws, we can help. Call us now for a free, completely confidential case evaluation. With offices in West Palm Beach and Miami, we represent businesses and consumers in South Florida and beyond.