As Federal Government Stalls, States Work to Regulate Digital Privacy

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Here’s a look at what some digital privacy experts view as standouts in legislative online privacy efforts at the state level, and some of the sticking points in those and federal proposals.

  • Federal Proposals: Two key bills are pending in the Senate Commerce Committee — one from Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) and another from Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The bills contain some similar provisions to California’s and some overlap, but differ in key areas. Wicker’s bill would override any state measure, and Cantwell’s would not. Cantwell’s also contains the controversial private right of action provision, which has been the sticking point in some state legislation. Wicker’s contains no such provision.
  • States: The California Consumer Privacy Act went into effect Jan 1, 2020, but the California Attorney General’s Office, as of early May, had not yet completed writing its implementing regulations and is expected to do so in July. Maine and Nevada have recently passed privacy laws that are fairly comprehensive. Online privacy legislation is also pending in Illinois, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Measures in Washington and New York failed — largely over private right of action provisions.

As Feds Stall, States Work to Regulate Digital Privacy