March 2017: In a nail bitter 215-205 vote, the U.S. Congress spiked a set of incoming FCC online privacy rules. The decision frenzied privacy advocates and several state legislatures took notice — including Nevada, whose Senate just passed a bill to replace the defunct federal statute.
Sponsored by Nevada Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, S.B. 538 is a close cousin of the FCC’s Online Privacy Rule. Under the proposed law, “Internet providers” must disclose to users what information is collected and shared about them. Ford explained: “It’s important that Nevada’s privacy laws reflect that we are all conducting more of our lives online.”
In addition to user data disclosure standards, Senate Bill 538 also requires Internet providers to “publish information on any third-party contractors who may be stockpiling user data.” (Loose Prediction: The “my brothers’ keeper” nature of this clause may spawn some messy situations.)
The Nevada Senate passed 538 unanimously, so it’s traveling the express lane to ratification.
Federal Online Privacy Laws
Believe it or not, the United States still doesn’t have an all-encompassing, nationwide law governing digital privacy. However, several different statutes address digital privacy concerns related to children, finances, and health.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act: In the United States, without permission from parents or guardians it’s against the law to collect or store information about people aged 12 and under. [Read More Button]
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: Also known as the Financial Modernization Act, this law outlines privacy collection and storage standards for digital financial information. [Read More Button]
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act: Passed in 1996 and since updated, the HIPPA privacy rule “establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information.” [Read More Button]
In addition to the handful of federal measures, California is also home to a host of online privacy laws. And yes, if your website is accessible to people in California, then you’re most likely beholden to the Golden State’s statutes — even if you’re based elsewhere. Plus, more states have recently passed various online privacy bills that will likely go into effect in the coming months.
Speak With An Online Privacy Law Attorney
Are you grappling with an online privacy legal issue? Our team of experienced attorneys, programmers, and online marketers can help. To learn more about our firm, we invite you to begin at the “About Us” section of our website. If you need to speak with someone, ASAP — by all means, get in touch!
Chajson, M. (2017, May 30). Nevada senate approves Internet privacy bill. Retrieved July 18, 2017, from http://www.jurist.org/paperchase/2017/05/nevada-senate-approves-internet-privacy-bill.php