Consumer rights

Florida lawmakers discuss bill to protect consumer data

TALLAHASSEE, Florida. – New legislation to protect consumer data is underway this week in the State Capitol. It gives consumers the right to know what data a company has and it allows consumers to stop them from selling the information.

House Bill 9 doesn’t stop companies from selling your data, but it does give you rights.

“First, it gives the consumer the right to know what information a company collects about them. Second, it gives the consumer the right to delete or correct this information. And three, it gives the consumer the right to opt out of having their data sold or shared,” said Republican Rep. Fiona McFarland of Sarasota, who sponsored the bill.

As the legislation was being debated, the Citizens Council Against Government Waste released an ad claiming companies could face billions in compliance costs.

Part of the ad says, “Some politicians want these wasteful policies in Florida, which are costing taxpayers here tens of billions.”

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Democratic Rep. Andrew Learned of Tampa offered six business-backed amendments to clarify who was covered by the bill.

“There is a reason there are three hundred registered lobbyists on this bill. Businesses in the state of Florida are all crying foul,” Learned said.

The no was overwhelming on the six proposed amendments.

So far, companies have a win. The bill initially required them to delete your data upon your request within 48 hours. Now it’s four days.

The measure also requires companies to destroy data after holding it for three years.

“So three years is definitely enough time for a company to retain your data and continue to serve the purpose you gave them,” McFarland said. “If you have another interaction with the company, buy another product, or sign up for another email, the timer starts over. But three years is a really long time for a company to keep your information. private.

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The measure is a top priority for the Speaker of the House and the Governor. The House will take a final vote on the data privacy legislation on Wednesday.

In the case of a consumer under 18, the bill requires companies to have permission to sell the data, rather than requiring the opt-out required for adults.

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