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Florida enacts privacy legislation; requirements focus on digital industry

State Issues State Legislation Consumer Protection Florida Privacy, Cyber Risk & Data Security

Privacy, Cyber Risk & Data Security

On June 6, the Florida governor approved SB 262 to create the Florida Digital Bill of Rights (FDBR) and establish a framework for controlling and processing consumer personal data in the state, applicable only to companies that meet certain criteria and bring in global gross annual revenues of more than $1 billion. Specifically, the FDBR applies to “controllers,” or any person that conducts business in Florida, collects personal data about consumers (or is an entity on behalf of which this information is collected), determines the purposes and means of processing consumers’ personal data (alone or jointly with other entities), meets the revenue minimum, and satisfies at least one of the following criteria: (i) derives at least 50 percent of global gross revenue from the sale of online advertisements (including targeted advertising); (ii) operates a consumer smart speaker and voice command component service; or (iii) operates an app store or a digital distribution platform offering a minimum of 250,000 unique software applications available for download. The FDBR outlines exemptions, including exemptions for financial institutions and data subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, as well as certain covered entities governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

  • Consumer rights. Under the FDBR, Florida consumers will have the right to, among other things, (i) confirm whether their personal data is being processed and to access their data; (ii) correct inaccuracies; (iii) delete their data; (iv) obtain a copy of personal data processed by a controller; and (v) opt out of the processing of their data for targeted advertising, the sale of their data, or certain profiling. The FDBR also adds biometric data and geolocation information to the definition of personal information.
  • Controllers’ responsibilities. Data controllers under the FDBR will be responsible for, among other things, (i) responding to consumers’ requests within 45 days unless extenuating circumstances arise and providing requested information free of charge, up to twice annually for each consumer; (ii) establishing an appeals process to allow consumer appeals within a reasonable time period after a controller’s refusal to take action on a consumer’s request; (iii) limiting the collection of data to what is required and reasonably necessary for a specified purpose; (iv) securing personal data and implementing appropriate data security protection practices; (v) not processing data in violation of state or federal anti-discrimination laws; (vi) obtaining consumer consent in order to process sensitive data (consent may be revoked at any time); (vii) ensuring contracts and agreements do not waive or limit consumers’ data rights; and (viii) providing clear privacy notices. The FDBR also sets forth obligations relating to contracts between a controller and a processor.
  • No private cause of action but enforcement by the Florida Department of Legal Affairs. The FDBR explicitly prohibits a private cause of action. Instead, it grants the department exclusive authority to bring actions under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and seek penalties of up to $50,000 per violation, which may be tripled for any violation involving a child under the age of 18 for which the online platform has actual knowledge. The department is also granted authority to adopt rules to implement the FDBR.
  • Right to cure. Upon discovering a potential violation of the FDBR, the department must give the controller written notice. The controller then has 45 days to cure the alleged violation before the department can file suit.

Minor children are also afforded specific protections under the FDBR, including prohibiting online platforms that provide services or features to children from processing children’s personal information or from collecting, selling, sharing, or retaining any personal information that is not necessary to provide an online service, product, or feature. Additionally, the FDBR includes provisions addressing political ideology and government-led censorship.

The FDBR takes effect July 1, 2024.

Florida now joins nine other states in enacting comprehensive consumer privacy measures, following California, Colorado, Connecticut, Virginia, Utah, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, and Montana.