Marketers in the United States are facing a confusing array of privacy regulations at the state level, while also closely monitoring ongoing efforts to pass a federal data privacy framework. California and Virginia have both recently introduced privacy laws, with similar legislation coming into effect in Colorado, Connecticut, and Utah later in the year.
- Companies will need to decide whether and how to establish a universal browser-accessible system that allows users to block the sale or use of their data for targeted advertising.
- These opt-out signals prevent consumers from having to visit each website they engage with in order to stop the sale and sharing of their data, and California and Colorado regulators require businesses to abide by them.
- However, marketers have expressed doubts about the viability of that strategy.
These laws give consumers the right to access, update, delete, and opt out of having their personal information used for targeted advertising and profiling. Moreover, the laws contain various nuances that marketers need to consider when creating compliance plans, including different standards for handling opt-out requests and the management of sensitive information.
In addition to these state-level developments, the US Congress has made progress towards enacting federal privacy legislation, with the American Data Privacy and Protection Act being advanced in the House in July. This act aims to improve data protections for children and teenagers, halt algorithmic prejudice, and give consumers the ability to access, correct, delete, and prohibit the sharing of their personal information. However, it remains uncertain whether Congress will be able to pass this legislation due to divided government.
Regardless of the outcome at the federal level, the new state laws will require marketers to be more transparent with customers, including in their privacy policies.