November 27, 2019
Privacy Law Alert
Privacy Law Alert
Author(s): Jenny L. Holmes
This alert was co-authored by Tevin Hopkins.
The Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act was introduced this week, and its mission is to unify the United States’ privacy laws. This alert discusses key aspects of the Act affecting entities subject to the Federal Trade Commission Act.
On Tuesday, November 26, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., introduced the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA), a federal privacy bill that to some, seems long overdue. Following the passing of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, the United States’ privacy scheme has been in a race to catch up to the expansive individual consumer rights granted to individuals in the European Union and to provide oversight on companies who collect and process personal information. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), effective January 1, 2020, is seen as a response to the GDPR. Many states are currently drafting their own privacy laws, creating a patchwork of various obligations for multi-state companies. COPRA aims to “provide consumers with foundational data privacy rights, create strong oversight mechanisms, and establish meaningful enforcement” while also creating some semblance of order within the tangle of United States’ privacy laws.
Here's what we know so far:
How is COPRA different from the other privacy laws?
How would COPRA be enforced?
While it is unlikely that any of the substantive provisions of COPRA would be controversial (except, of course, for the private right of action), we expect COPRA to face challenges as it preempts state laws that conflict with COPRA and encroaches a space typically left to the states to regulate. States may, however, enact non-conflicting privacy laws that have more onerous requirements.
COPRA still has a long way road ahead of it. It will likely be discussed on December 4 at a Senate Committee hearing. We will follow COPRA and keep you informed.
The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.
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