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Florida House of Representatives Advances Key Privacy Legislation

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, the Florida House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of HB 969, legislation that would provide residents with the right to access, delete, and stop the sale of their information, with additional protections for minors. Consumer Reports praised the House for advancing legislation, and called on the full legislature to advance a strong bill that would guarantee consumers critical privacy protections. The Senate is considering a companion bill, SB 1734, that lacks key provisions that are currently included in the House version.

Importantly, the House bill includes a private right of action so that consumers can hold companies accountable for violating their privacy rights. Additionally, the House version includes a comprehensive opt out that allows consumers to stop all data disclosures for advertising purposes. In contrast, the Senate version was significantly weakened with the removal of the private right of action and the addition of new exemptions to the opt out. 

While HB 969 offers stronger privacy protections for Floridians than the Senate bill, the House declined to include an important requirement that companies honor browser privacy signals as a global opt-out, so consumers don’t have to stop the sale of their information at hundreds if not thousands of different companies. Currently, the Senate version includes this important provision.

Consumer Reports commended the House for taking action and urged lawmakers to advance a strong final bill that fully protects consumer privacy. “For years, companies have freely collected and monetized personal information without consumers’ consent or awareness,” said Maureen Mahoney, senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports. “We applaud the Florida House of Representatives for advancing a privacy bill with strong enforcement and a comprehensive opt out. But the bill should also make it easy for Floridians to opt out. We urge legislators to advance a strong final bill that allows Floridians to stop the sale of all of their information across companies in a single step.”

If the pending privacy legislation is signed into law, Florida would become only the third state to pass a comprehensive online privacy law, after California and Virginia. Florida is one of several states, including Washington, Connecticut and Colorado, that is currently considering privacy legislation.

Contact: Cyrus Rassool, cyrus.rassool@consumer.org