Iowa becomes sixth state to enact comprehensive privacy legislation
On March 28, the Iowa governor signed SF 262, establishing a framework for controlling and processing consumers’ personal data in the state. Iowa is now the sixth state in the nation to enact comprehensive consumer privacy measures, following California, Colorado, Connecticut, Virginia, and Utah (covered by Special Alerts here and here and InfoBytes here, here, and here).
- Consumer rights. Iowa consumers will have the right to, among other things, (i) confirm whether their personal data is being processed and access their data; (ii) delete their data; (iii) obtain a copy of their personal data processed by a controller (“except as to personal data that is defined as personal information pursuant to section 715C.1 that is subject to security breach protection”); and (iv) opt out of the sale of their data.
- Controller responsibilities. The Act requires controllers—the persons that determine the purpose and means of processing personal data—to respond to consumers’ requests free of charge within 90 days (the response period may be extended an additional 45 days under extenuating circumstances). A controller must also provide a consumer, without undue delay, of its justification should it decline to take action regarding the consumer’s request, as well as instructions for appealing the decision. Controllers are also required to implement reasonable data security practices to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility of personal data, and must not process collected sensitive data without notifying the consumer and allowing for the opportunity to opt out of such processing (or in the case of data involving a minor, without processing such data in accordance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). Controllers may not violate state and federal laws that prohibit discriminatory practices when processing personal data and may not discriminate against a consumer for exercising any of the provided consumer rights. Contacts that purport or waive or limit consumer rights shall be deemed void and unenforceable.
- Disclosures. Controllers are required to provide consumers “a reasonably accessible, clear, and meaningful privacy notice” that outlines the categories of personal data to be processed, the purpose for processing the data, and how consumers may submit requests to exercise their personal rights (a controller may not require a consumer to create a new account to exercise consumer rights). The privacy notice must also outline the categories of data that may be shared with third parties, as well as the categories of applicable third parties, and clearly disclose when personal data is being sold or used in targeted advertising to allow a consumer the right to opt out of such activity.
- Processor duties. Processors shall help controllers fulfill their obligations under the Act. A contract established between a controller and a processor will “govern the processor’s data processing procedures with respect to processing performed on behalf of the controller,” and must “clearly set forth instructions for processing personal data, the nature and purpose of processing, the type of data subject to processing, the duration of processing, and the rights and duties of both parties.”
- Exemptions and limitations. The Act also outlines various processing exemptions, including those related to pseudonymous data, and addresses certain actions that a controller or processor is able to take with respect to complying with federal, state, or local laws, investigations, or law enforcement agency inquiries, among others. The Act also limits the collection of personal data to what is adequate, relevant and necessary in relation to the purposes for which such data is processed, and requires controllers to implement data security protection practices.
- Enforcement. Although the Act explicitly prohibits its use as a basis for a private right of action, it does grant the state attorney general exclusive authority to enforce the law. Additionally, upon discovering a potential violation of the Act, the attorney general must give the controller or processor written notice and 90 days to cure the alleged violation before the attorney general can file suit. Should the controller or processor continue to violate the Act, the attorney general may seek an injunction and civil penalties of up to $7,500 for each violation.
The Act takes effect January 1, 2025.