On Feb. 15, Rep. Fiona McFarland (R-Sarasota) filed HB 969, following a press conference in which Gov. Ron DeSantis and House Speaker Chris Sprowls made clear their intent to crack down on “big tech.” A Senate companion bill is expected to be filed shortly, and the issue has support from Senate President Wilton Simpson. McGuireWoods Consulting expects a version of this bill will pass by the time Florida’s legislative session ends on April 30.
Among other things, HB 969 requires that:
- Consumers have the right to:
- Request copies of their personal data
- Have their personal information deleted or corrected
- Request companies disclose the personal data that is shared or sold
- Opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information to third parties, including service providers of a business
- “Personal information” includes an individual’s biometric information, which is defined in the bill
- Businesses may not discriminate against consumers who exercise their data privacy rights
- Businesses provide an online form that enables consumers to opt-out of the sharing or selling of their personal information
- Certain types of information are exempted from these requirements based on federally-protected statuses, such as HIPAA and FERPA, or for research purposes
- Consumers may pursue civil action against businesses that fail to protect an individual’s personal information
Florida’s 60-day legislative session begins this Tuesday, March 2, but policy and budget discussions are well underway. The MWC Florida team will be watching this issue closely.