Data Privacy in the States

Because of a lack of action on federal data privacy legislation over the years, states are now seeking to pass their own laws to protect their constituents. Without a federal standard, data privacy protections continue to vary from state to state based on the laws passed in each state.

As we discussed in Inside Story last month, California was the first state to pass a comprehensive consumer privacy law in the U.S. After passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in 2018, there was a push by lawmakers in other states to pass similar legislation. This led to an increase in the number of data privacy bills introduced last year in the states, as reported by the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL).

While the CCPA is still the only law of its kind in the country, the effort to pass similar legislation in other states continued throughout 2019. Efforts to pass a comprehensive law in other states were unsuccessful last year, but there was progress on other bills related to consumer privacy.

For example, in Texas, legislation (TX HB 4390) was passed and signed into law to establish the Texas Privacy Protection Advisory Council. The Maine State Legislature passed a law (ME SB 275) that limits broadband Internet providers from using, disclosing, and selling customer’s personal information. Three states, Connecticut, Louisiana and North Dakota, enacted laws that create a legislative management study or establish a task force on issues related to consumer privacy. The full list of bills that were introduced and their statuses can be viewed on NCSL’s website.

Last month’s edition of Inside Story explored the growing nationwide support for tech and data privacy protections in the U.S., including new federal legislation that is expected to be introduced in the House early this year. This month’s edition of Inside Story will focus on some of the efforts in the states to protect consumers’ privacy as states continue to move forward on legislation again in 2020.

Gloria Story Dittus, Chairman, Story Partners