Florida is expected to be the tenth state to pass comprehensive consumer privacy legislation, joining California, Connecticut, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Utah, Virginia, Montana, and Tennessee. In a significant move to regulate the digital landscape, Florida has recently passed the Digital Bill of Rights (“SB 262“). Aimed at large online advertisers and tech companies, the bill sets forth a framework to protect, inter alia, minor information, biometric information, and the collection of data by smart speakers, as well as to establish obligations for covered businesses. Let’s delve into the key points of SB 262.
SB 262 covers major online advertisers and tech companies that generate annual revenue of at least $1 billion and meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Earn at least 50% of their revenue from targeted advertising.
- Operate an app store hosting more than 25,000 types of software.
- Offer a smart speaker as part of their product lineup.
SB 262 introduces essential rights for Florida consumers, empowering them with greater control over their personal data. These rights include:
- Access, correction, and deletion of personal data. Consumers have the right to access, correct, and delete their personal information held by these entities.
- Opt-in for processing sensitive personal information and data of known children. Companies must obtain explicit consent from consumers before processing sensitive personal information or data pertaining to users whom such companies know to be minors.
- Opt-out of certain data processing activities. Consumers can choose to opt-out of targeted advertising, the sale of sensitive data, data collection for voice-enabled technology, and significantly impactful profiling.
To ensure the protection of consumer data and privacy, SB 262 imposes several obligations on covered entities. These obligations include:
- Implementation of reasonable security measures: Companies must adopt reasonable security measures to safeguard consumer data from unauthorized access or breaches.
- Data protection assessments: Regular assessments must be conducted to evaluate data protection practices and identify potential vulnerabilities.
- Data retention limits: Covered entities must adhere to prescribed limits on the retention of consumer data to prevent unnecessary storage or usage.
- Specific disclosures regarding targeted advertising: Businesses are required to provide clear and transparent disclosures about their targeted advertising practices.
- SEO rankings: Search engines must disclose how they rank search results, ensuring transparency in their algorithms.
Content Moderation and Government Officials
Notably, SB 262 sets a restriction on government officials. They are prohibited from requesting social media platforms to moderate content. This provision aims to maintain the independence of content moderation decisions by these platforms.
Enforcement & Penalties
The Attorney General of Florida is entrusted with the enforcement of SB 262. Only the Attorney General possesses the authority to impose civil penalties of up to $50,000 per violation. In certain circumstances, these penalties may be tripled. It is important to note that the bill does not provide for a private right of action, emphasizing the role of the government in enforcing compliance.
By targeting major online advertisers and tech companies, SB 262 demonstrates that businesses must adapt to new consumer privacy rights and keep up with pending legislation that is advancing across the nation. As the state moves forward, the impact of this legislation will be closely observed, potentially influencing similar efforts in other jurisdictions to protect individuals in the digital age.
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Disclaimer: This article has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For specific legal advice regarding SB 262 and its implications, please consult a qualified legal professional.