The Florida Digital Bill of Rights, often abbreviated as FDBR, is a landmark piece of legislation that aims to protect the digital privacy and rights of individuals in the state of Florida. Enacted on June 6, 2023, when Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 262 into law, this bill introduces a comprehensive framework for safeguarding personal information in an increasingly digital world. The FDBR will take effect on July 1, 2024, and organizations subject to the law need to ensure compliance from that date onward.
Under the FDBR, Florida residents gain critical rights related to their personal data. The FDBR also addresses emerging technologies like biometric data processing and sets guidelines for responsible data handling. This legislative initiative comes at a time when concerns about data privacy and security are on the rise, highlighting Florida’s commitment to ensuring that its residents’ personal information remains protected in various online and commercial contexts.
Under the FDBR, consumers are granted a range of rights aimed at protecting their digital privacy and personal data. These rights empower individuals in the state of Florida with more control over their personal information in an increasingly digital world. Here are some key consumer rights outlined in the FDBR:
Access to personal information: Consumers have the right to access the personal information that organizations collect and process about them. This means individuals can request to see what data is being held by businesses or online platforms.
Correction of personal information: If the personal information held by organizations is inaccurate or incomplete, consumers have the right to request corrections. This ensures that data accuracy is maintained.
Erasure of personal information: Consumers can request the deletion or erasure of their personal information in certain circumstances, adding an extra layer of control over their data.
Protection of sensitive data: The FDBR places a specific focus on protecting sensitive data, including children’s data (those under 18 years old), biometric data, and other precise personal information.
Consent: The bill emphasizes the importance of obtaining clear, informed, and unambiguous consent from consumers before processing their personal data.
Right to opt-out of the collection of personal data
The Florida Digital Bill of Rights (FDBR) allows individuals to opt-out of having their personal data collected in certain situations. This provision gives Florida consumers more control over their online privacy. Here is a summary of the opt-out right for personal data collection as described in the FDBR:
Opt-out rights: The FDBR expressly grants Florida consumers the right to opt out of the collection of personal data in certain situations.
Voice and facial recognition: Consumers have the right to opt out of the collection of personal data through voice and facial recognition technology.
Targeted advertising: Individuals can opt out of targeted advertising, ensuring that their online activities are not used to serve them personalized ads.
Sale of personal data: The FDBR allows consumers to opt out of the sale of their personal data to third parties.
Profiling: Consumers have the right to opt out of profiling, which involves the collection and analysis of data to create user profiles.
Sensitive data under the FDBR
Sensitive data, as defined in the Florida Digital Bill of Rights (FDBR), refers to specific categories of personal information that warrant enhanced protection due to their potentially sensitive or private nature. Here’s an overview of what constitutes sensitive personal data provided under the FDBR:
Sensitive data encompasses any information, including personal data, that is linked or reasonably linkable to an identified or identifiable individual. This includes information that can be used to identify a person, such as names, addresses, and contact details.
Data belonging to known children
The FDBR treats personal data collected from a known child as sensitive data. This provision emphasizes the need to protect the personal information of children, acknowledging their vulnerability and the importance of privacy safeguards for minors.
While not explicitly mentioned in the sources, it’s important to note that sensitive data typically extends to various categories of information, such as financial details, health records, genetic or biometric data, racial or ethnic origin, and other personal data revealing something that could be used to discriminate or harm an individual.
Personal information under the FDBR
Personal information under the Florida Digital Bill of Rights (FDBR) is broadly defined and encompasses various types of personal data processed that pertain to individuals and their online presence. Here’s an overview of what constitutes personal information under the FDBR:
Expanded definition: The FDBR expands the definition of personal information, going beyond traditional identifiers. It includes standard examples like Social Security numbers and financial information.
Sensitive data: Personal data is not limited to basic identifiers but also includes sensitive data, which refers to any information, including sensitive data, that is linked or reasonably linkable to an identified or identifiable individual.
Biometric data: The FDBR explicitly includes biometric data within the definition of personal information. This means that biometric identifiers such as fingerprints, voiceprints, and facial recognition data are considered personal information.
Geolocation information: Another addition to the definition is geolocation information. This refers to data related to an individual’s physical location, which can be obtained from various devices and services like smartphones and GPS systems.
Targeted advertising data: The FDBR addresses the collection and use of data for targeted advertising, which is often based on individuals’ online behavior and preferences.
Controllers and processors: The law also incorporates concepts related to data management, such as controllers and processors. These terms refer to entities responsible for collecting and processing personal information.
Exemptions: Similar to other data privacy laws, the FDBR provides exemptions for various entities regulated by federal law, like the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
De-identified, pseudonymous data and aggregate consumer information
Under the Florida Digital Bill of Rights (FDBR), there are provisions related to de-identified data, pseudonymous data, and aggregate consumer information. Here’s an overview:
The FDBR addresses de-identified data, which is information that has been stripped of identifiers or other information that could link it to an individual. If a controller (an entity responsible for processing personal data) possesses de-identified data, the FDBR specifies certain requirements. For example, the controller must take reasonable measures to ensure that such personal data cannot be re-identified.
Pseudonymous data refers to data that has been altered in such a way that it cannot be attributed to a specific individual without additional information. The FDBR may also have requirements related to pseudonymous personal data processing, although the specific provisions may vary.
Aggregate consumer information
The FDBR includes a definition of “aggregate” consumer information. This likely pertains to data that has been combined and analyzed in a way that does not reveal individual identities. The FDBR may have provisions or considerations related to the processing of aggregate consumer information.
Under the Florida Digital Bill of Rights (FDBR), there are specific obligations imposed on data processors. Here’s an overview of these processor obligations:
Data processing accountability: Data processors, entities that handle personal data on behalf of data controllers, are accountable for their actions under the FDBR. They are required to process personal data in accordance with the law and must ensure compliance with the rights and protections granted to consumers.
Consumer rights support: Processors must support the rights of consumers as defined by the FDBR. This includes enabling consumers to submit requests to exercise their consumer rights, such as the right to access, correct, or delete their personal data.
Data security: Data processors must implement administrative, technical, and physical data security practices to protect personal data from breaches or unauthorized access. This includes safeguarding data against potential risks and ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of the data.
Cooperation with controllers: Processors are expected to cooperate with data controllers to ensure compliance with the FDBR. This may involve working closely with controllers to respond to consumer requests or address data privacy issues.
Transparency: Processors should maintain transparency regarding their data processing activities. This includes providing information to consumers about how their data is processed and for what purposes.
Contractual agreements: Processors should establish clear contractual agreements with data controllers that outline the responsibilities and obligations of both parties regarding data processing. These agreements must align with the requirements of the FDBR.
Requirements for controllers operating search engines
Controllers operating search engines in Florida are subject to specific requirements under the Florida Digital Bill of Rights (FDBR). These requirements aim to enhance transparency and consumer rights in the context of search engine operations. Here are the key requirements for controllers operating search engines:
Accessibility of disclosures: Controllers must make certain disclosures easily accessible to users. This information should be prominently available on the search engine’s webpage without requiring extensive navigation or searching.
Contact information: Controllers must provide at least two secure means of contact that are consistent with typical consumer communication methods. This allows users to get in touch with the controller for inquiries or concerns.
Under the Florida Digital Bill of Rights (FDBR), organizations that process personal data are required to follow specific submission format guidelines when responding to consumer requests related to their personal information. Here is the submission format under FDBR:
Secure and consistent means of contact
Organizations must provide at least two secure and consistent means of contact that align with normal ways in which consumers typically communicate. This enables consumers to reach out to the organization regarding their personal data and privacy concerns.
The FDBR emphasizes the importance of providing consumers with accessible and secure channels for communication. This submission format ensures that consumers can easily initiate contact with organizations to exercise their rights and make inquiries about their personal information.
Voice recognition feature
Under the Florida Digital Bill of Rights (FDBR), the term “Voice Recognition Feature” is significant as it pertains to regulations related to privacy and data protection. Voice Recognition Feature refers to the function of voice command component service in a device that enables the collection, recording, storage, analysis, transmission, interpretation, or use of voice commands or audio data. This feature is commonly found in devices such as smart speakers, virtual assistants, and other voice-activated technologies.
Under the FDBR, businesses or organizations that utilize voice recognition features in their devices are subject to specific regulations and requirements. These regulations aim to protect consumer privacy and data security in the context of voice-activated technologies. Some key points related to voice recognition features under the FDBR include:
Privacy notice requirements: Businesses utilizing voice recognition features are required to provide consumers with a “reasonably accessible and clear” privacy notice. This notice must be updated at least annually, ensuring that consumers are informed about how their voice data is collected, used, and protected.
Consumer rights: Consumers have rights related to the collection and processing of their voice data. They may have the right to access, correct, or delete their voice data, depending on the specific provisions of the FDBR.
Compliance and fines: Noncompliance with the FDBR can result in fines ranging from up to $50,000 per violation to three times that amount.
Penalties for non-compliance
Penalties for non-compliance with the Florida Digital Bill of Rights (FDBR) can be significant. The FDBR aims to protect individual’s privacy rights and data security, and violations of its provisions can lead to various penalties.
Civil penalties: Non-compliance with the FDBR can result in civil penalties. The law authorizes civil penalties of up to $50,000 per violation. This means that organizations found to be in violation of the FDBR may face substantial fines for each offense.
Unfair and deceptive trade practice: A violation of the FDBR is deemed an unfair and deceptive trade practice. This designation underscores the seriousness of non-compliance and reinforces the importance of adhering to the law’s provisions.
DLA enforcement: The Department of Legal Affairs (DLA) is responsible for enforcing the FDBR. Violations are actionable solely by the DLA, highlighting the governmental authority behind enforcing the law.
Florida’s commitment to online privacy through the Digital Bill of Rights is a significant development in the field of data protection. It places control back into the hands of individuals, ensures data security, and holds businesses accountable for their handling of personal data. In an era where digital privacy is paramount, Florida’s legislative initiative sets a promising example for other states and countries to follow.