government report june 2023

New State Privacy Laws Enacted and Considered

Lawmakers in Florida and Texas have enacted new comprehensive state privacy laws.

Florida SB 262, was written to apply only to companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, and also glean at least half of their revenue from ads, or operate a smart speaker or operate an app store with at least 250,000 different apps. Unfortunately, despite the apparent intent of lawmakers, the AAF believes the law will also negatively impact small businesses. The law also requires large tech companies targeting ads based on non-pseudonymous data to allow consumers to opt-out. Companies that target ads based on pseudonymous data—such as information linked to cookies—are not required to allow opt-outs, provided the pseudonymous data is stored separately from identifiable data. AAF and many of our Florida advertising federations communicated concerns with legislators numerous times.

The Texas Data Privacy and Security Act requires companies to allow residents to opt out of targeted advertising—defined by the bill as serving ads to people based on their online activity over time and across non-affiliated websites or apps. It also requires companies to honor universal opt-out tools—such as opt-out signals that consumers can send through their browsers—provided the companies also honor those signals in other states. Also enacted was HB 18 which is intended to protect youths under the age of 18 online. AAF and our Texas chapters provided comments on both the comprehensive and youth-focused bills.

In addition to these newly enacted laws, additional states are considering privacy bills. In recent weeks, AAF commented on legislation being considered in Wyoming, Connecticut, New York, Louisiana, Delaware, and Oregon.

AAF will soon provide members with an overview of all enacted state privacy laws.

Maryland Digital Advertising Tax Update

Earlier this year, AAF joined an Amicus Brief in support of a challenge in the Maryland Supreme Court by Comcast and others to the Maryland Digital Advertising Tax. The challenge was rejected by the Court on procedural, not substantive, grounds and challenges will continue. In response, Maryland Delegate Nic Kipke (R-Anne Arundel County) published an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun explaining why the tax should and likely will be rejected by the courts. The op-ed said in part, “The recent ruling by the Maryland Supreme Court on the state’s digital advertising tax is not the victory that some politicians in Annapolis would like Marylanders to believe. In reality, our highest court’s refusal to consider the merit of a law that has already been ruled unconstitutional is much more likely a harbinger of the law’s coming defeat.”

Privacy for America Comments to FTC on Cloud Computing

In March, the Federal Trade Commission issued a Request for Information on the business practices of Cloud Computing Providers. While not a strictly advertising issue, the questions raised do have implications for data security and the advertising industry’s support for one national privacy law. The AAF-supported Privacy for America coalition submitted comments to the Commission outlining our thoughts on the subject.

The AAF protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities. Our nationwide network monitors advertising-related legislation on local, state, and federal levels. We put our members face-to-face with influential lawmakers while encouraging self-regulation as a preemptor to government intervention, when appropriate of course. To learn more about our advocacy efforts, click here.