|As anticipated, 2023 has been a busy year for privacy issues in the states. AAF and our allies, in many cases joined by local AAF clubs, have provided comments to state lawmakers from coast to coast. We are grateful to the local clubs who sign our letters, often with short notice, as their local voice is powerful when speaking to state lawmakers. We apologize for those instances when time constraints make local participation impossible.
The primary message of our comments is consistent from state to state. AAF supports a law enacting robust privacy and data security protections for consumers. However, we support federal legislation protecting all consumers nationwide. State laws, however well-intentioned, would create a patchwork of inconsistent standards making it difficult, if not impossible, for businesses to comply—especially smaller businesses working with fewer resources. While stating our opposition, we will also offer suggestions making the proposed laws more closely align with standards in other states.
In March, AAF and eight Texas advertising clubs (AAF Amarillo, AAF Austin, AAF Corpus Christi, AAF Dallas, AAF East Texas, AAF Houston, AAF Rio Grande Valley, and AAF San Antonio) sent a letter to Texas lawmakers opposing comprehensive privacy legislation. Special thanks to Helena Abbing of AAF Austin for submitting online testimony—required to come from an in-state source—prior to the legislative hearing. Later in the month, AAF, joined by AAF Austin and AAF Houston submitted comments on an “age appropriate” privacy bill we believe would not only have not protected children, but impeded older youths from accessing the benefits of online information.
Together with AAF Seattle, AAF Spokane and AAF Tri Cities, AAF wrote to Washington state lawmakers about legislation designed to protect consumer health data, but going much further than would be necessary or beneficial to consumers.
AAF, joined by AAF Central Minnesota and AAF District 8, wrote to Minnesota House and Senate legislative leaders regarding flawed “age appropriate” bills (SF 2810 and HF 2257).
Similarly, in Florida AAF wrote to Senators and Representatives opposing privacy bills, HB 1547 and SB 262. AAF was joined on the letters by AAF District 4, AAF Orlando, AAF Space Coast, AAF Treasure Coast, and Ad 2 Orlando.
Other states where AAF filed comments on privacy related legislation included Arkansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Illinois (HB 1381, HB 3385, and HB 3880) and Maryland (SB 698 and SB 844).
In other privacy news, Utah Governor Spencer Cox (R) signed into law HB 311 which banned any form of advertising on social media to minors, defined as anyone under the age of 18. AAF wrote to the Governor urging him to veto the measure because we believe it is overly broad, unconstitutional and would harm more than help underage users of social media. The new law will likely be challenged in Court.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R) has signed into law comprehensive privacy legislation. While AAF favors a national privacy law and does not support state privacy legislation, we chose not to engage in Iowa as the enacted law created an acceptable balance between consumer protection and business requirements.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser (D) has finalized rules to implement the Colorado Privacy Act. AAF and AAF Colorado provided comments to the Attorney General’s office.