Virginia Passes Consumer Privacy Bill

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Consumer Reports is praising the Virginia legislature's passage of the Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA), which would join California as the second state/commonwealth to pass its own privacy bill after a Democratic  FCC effort to regulate privacy on the federal level was nullified.

The Virginia bill applies everyone doing business in the Commonwealth that control or process the personal data of at least 100,000 consumers or get over half their gross revenue from the sale of personal data of at least 25,000 consumers.

Also Read: ANA Opposes Hawaii Privacy Bill

It establishes standards for data control and processing but does not apply to state or local governments and has exceptions for types of data and information governed by federal law. 

Consumers have the right to access, correct, or delete their personal information and obtain a copy of that information, as well as to opt out of the processing of personal data for targeted advertising. 

The bill, which governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, is expected to sign, will not take effect until January 2023, so opponents have plenty of time to weigh in on its impact.

Also Read: Ad Group Proposes Privacy Bill

“We commend the Virginia legislature for advancing comprehensive online privacy protections,” said Maureen Mahoney, Consumer Reports policy analyst. “We urge Governor Ralph Northam to approve the measure, and for legislators to continue working in the next session to strengthen it. This bill has some important privacy provisions, but consumers need more practical options for controlling their data.”

“While there are some thoughtful provisions in the Virginia privacy proposal, ANA still feels that privacy is too important of a value to be handled on a state by state basis," said the Association of National Advertisers. "Therefore, we are pushing hard for a strong national privacy law that provides tough protection for consumers and a balanced level playing field for business. We believe that the Privacy for America Coalition draft legislation is the best and fairest proposal put forward to date.” – Association of National Advertisers."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.