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Consumer Reports calls on Florida to strengthen newly passed privacy legislation

TALLAHASSEE, FL Consumer Reports urges Florida lawmakers to strengthen S.B. 262, a weak consumer data privacy bill that passed the Florida General Assembly despite objections from consumer advocates. 

The bill includes some basic consumer rights, such as the right to know the information companies have collected about them, the right to correct and delete certain information, and the right to limit some data disclosures. However, due to its applicability to only the very largest tech companies and other significant loopholes, it would leave Florida consumers’ personal information unprotected in a wide variety of contexts. Notably, the bill’s consumer rights do not apply to pseudonymous information, such as most online cookies, rendering the right to opt-out of targeted advertising largely meaningless.

“S.B. 262 falls far short of offering the comprehensive privacy protections that Florida consumers deserve,”said Matt Schwartz, policy analyst at Consumer Reports. “This legislation’s narrow applicability means that most products and services consumers encounter online, including the vast majority of apps, will not need to follow these new privacy standards. Ad-tech companies will still be able to track users around the internet without their consent. There is a lot of work remaining to ensure the privacy of Florida consumers is truly protected.”

If Governor DeSantis signs S.B. 262 into law, Florida will become the latest state to enact a comprehensive privacy law, joining the ranks of California, Utah, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, and Tennessee.