Bill to regulate the collection of consumer data draws business opposition

Wooden block with lock graphic on laptop keyboard. Computer security concept.
The legislation would bring Florida's privacy laws more in line with states such as Colorado, California Virginia and Illinois.

A slew of industry groups representing a wide range of businesses is warning lawmakers about the huge costs that would ensue if data privacy legislation heading for a committee hearing passes.

Republican Rep. Fiona McFarland’s legislation (HB 9) would give consumers the right to determine what information has been collected, delete or correct the data, and opt-out of the sale or sharing of that personal information. According to the bill’s analysis, it would bring Florida’s privacy laws more in line with states such as Colorado, California, Virginia and Illinois.

But its effects would be crippling, says a letter going to the House Commerce Committee from 13 organizations, including Associated Industries of Florida, Florida Retail Federation and Florida TaxWatch.

Florida TaxWatch estimates the 31-page legislation would saddle Florida companies with upward of $33.8 billion in startup and compliance costs.

The letter says that businesses are already struggling under the weight of COVID-19’s effects, an increase in the minimum wage, hyperinflation, and a broken supply chain.

“Adopting this costly privacy legislation on the heels of these financially crippling factors in Florida is not the answer,” says the letter.

California’s experience is a warning, the letter says. According to a study done by the California Department of Finance, the California Privacy Act of 2018 has cost businesses in the state $55 billion to comply.

“These costs will be paid by Florida consumers by way of higher costs for goods and services,” the letter says.

Republican Sen. Jennifer Bradley has proposed legislation (SB 1864) addressing data privacy. Gov. Ron DeSantis recently tweeted a statement urging lawmakers to take up the issue of data privacy.

The House bill’s analysis shows that the state Department of Legal Affairs would enforce these rights by suing and collecting civil penalties from violators. Consumers whose personal information has been sold or shared after opting-out, or has been retained after a request to delete or correct can also sue under the legislation, the analysis says.

The business groups said they aren’t opposed to the legislation because they don’t believe in data privacy.

“Privacy legislation is better applied at the federal level to avoid a compliance patchwork of 50 different state laws that will impact job creators in multiple states,” the letter says.

Also, many businesses are already complying with federal privacy requirements, the letter says.

Here is the text of the letter being sent to lawmakers:

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


2 comments

  • Wade Mullins

    February 10, 2022 at 9:56 am

    I believe that is HB 9, not 7.

  • Erik Williams

    February 14, 2022 at 5:56 am

    I have read the blog and found it interesting for me. I really think that I will get more like this in the future.

Comments are closed.


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