Bill to regulate collection of consumer data sparks business opposition
A slew of industry groups representing a wide range of businesses are warning lawmakers of the huge costs that would result if data privacy legislation for a committee hearing were passed.
Republican Representative Fiona McFarland’the legislation (HB 7) would give consumers the right to determine what information has been collected, to delete or correct the data, and to opt out of the sale or sharing of that personal information. According to the bill’s analysis, this would bring Florida’s privacy laws more in line with those of states such as Colorado, California, Virginia and Illinois.
But its effects would be crippling, says a letter to the House Commerce Committee from 13 organizations, including Associated Industries of Florida, Florida Retail Federationand Florida TaxWatch.
Florida TaxWatch estimates the 31-page legislation would cost Florida businesses more than $33.8 billion in start-up and compliance costs.
The letter says companies are already grappling with the brunt of the effects of COVID-19, a minimum wage hike, hyperinflation and a broken supply chain.
“Passing this costly privacy legislation in the wake of these financially crippling factors in Florida is not the answer,” the letter states.
California’s experience is a warning, the letter says. According to a study by the California Department of Finance, the California Privacy Act of 2018 cost businesses in the state $55 billion to comply.
“These costs will be paid for by Florida consumers in the form of higher costs for goods and services,” the letter states.
Analysis of the House bill shows that the state’s Department of Legal Affairs would enforce these rights by prosecuting and collecting civil penalties against violators. Consumers whose personal information was sold or shared after opting out, or was retained after a request for deletion or correction may also sue under the law, the analysis says.
Business groups said they did not oppose the legislation because they did not believe in data privacy.
“Privacy legislation is best enforced at the federal level to avoid a compliance patchwork of 50 different state laws that will impact job creators in multiple states,” the letter says.
Additionally, many companies are already complying with federal privacy requirements, the letter says.
Here is the text of the letter sent to the legislators: