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 January 06, 2022

States are Pushing for Privacy Laws in 2022: Here’s What to Look Out For

Collage of illustrations about online privacy

In 2022, state lawmakers are committed to focusing on privacy

Over the years, federal lawmakers have slowly crept to pass new rules for the tech industry, but no noticeable improvement has been made. This year, states vow to plow forward in tackling key privacy priorities to speed ahead of any potential federal legislation.

Since tech companies have a more challenging time lobbying individual states, states will have more opportunities to pass new legislation to protect consumers’ privacy and cybersecurity.

Here are 5 privacy law battles that will likely play out in 2022:

 1. State-by-state consumer privacy law

It’s no secret that keeping consumers’ private information private has been a challenge ever since the internet was born. As Congress treads water on the issue, states are now taking matters into their own hands.

Virginia and Colorado pioneered the effort by passing consumer privacy laws last year (The Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act and Colorado Privacy Act). Many others will quickly fall like dominoes in following their lead. As a matter of fact, 20 other states already introduced their own privacy legislation last year.

Eight other states have proposed privacy legislation in past years, and those topics will likely return to the top of everyone’s inboxes to re-focus efforts on them.

2.  Regulations on app stores

In the past, Arizona has attempted to pass bills that would allow developers to avoid the 30% fees that Apple and Google charge, which did not make tech industry groups happy. However, it failed after heated lobbying.

This issue will likely crop up again this year in additional states, especially with the Epic lawsuit against Apple and the recent proposed EU legislation that would force Apple to allow iPhone users to install software from the web.

3. Speech censorship and content regulation

Social media censorship has been a top-of-mind concern for lawmakers in Florida and Texas, who argue that many members of the Republican party have been wrongly censored on certain platforms. The courts blocked their efforts to pass laws against social media company censorship.

Despite the rulings of the laws, industry experts expect additional states to join in the battle and possibly try to pass laws requiring platforms to share more on how they vet through potentially harmful content.

4.  Taxes on digital ad display

Maryland was the first state to pass a law taxing digital companies that display online ads to state residents/users. This sparked a fire among tech industry groups who say it’s unfair, unconstitutional and hurts the economy. Many groups have even sued to overturn the law.

Experts believe that since there is so much controversy against this bill, and it’s only in one state so far, this may slow and discourage other states from joining Maryland. For now, this issue is up in the air with most states.

5.  Cybersecurity threats

In total, 21 states considered cybersecurity-related legislation last year, and experts predict to see similar efforts to create a thicker layer of cybersecurity in 2022.

Tech trade groups are also following suit and fortifying their lobbying operations in the states. For example, the Chamber of Progress and TechNet are adding employees to bring coverage to state and local issues.

Will there be any comprehensive federal privacy laws?

While states are plunging to take action on privacy, each state doesn’t have its own internet—there is only one internet. That’s why there is so much pressure on federal lawmakers to act and come up with comprehensive laws for all states.

Meanwhile, experts say the chances of that happening are slim. Right now, politicians may not see privacy as their biggest priority, as COVID-19 rages on and other legislative issues are dominating their time.

Especially now, it’s critical to keep your own devices and passwords secure.

Stay proactive about your privacy

Since the internet began, privacy has been an issue, and lawmakers are starting to understand how important it is to protect. By this point, you should know how critical it is to safeguard yourself and your family from cyberattacks by keeping your personal info private. To understand the laws and regulations in your state to combat these issues and receive consultation on any consumer privacy law, talk to your provider lawyer.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (“PPLSI”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to PPLSI members through membership-based participation. Neither PPLSI nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation, or advice. The information available in this blog is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. The blog post is not a substitute for competent legal counsel from a licensed professional lawyer in the state or province where your legal issues exist and the reader is strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel for your specific legal matter. Information contained in the blog may be provided by authors who could be a third-party paid contributor. All information by authors is accepted in good faith, however, PPLSI makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of such information.


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