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Understanding Different Data Protection Laws

To control how data is received, how data subjects are managed, and what controls a data subject, you must understand data privacy regulations. Failure to abide by applicable data privacy rules may result in fines, legal action, and even the banishment of a business from use in some nations. While complying with these rules and legislation can be challenging, all business owners should know the data privacy laws that apply to their customers.

If you think you cannot handle all these compliance legalities yourself, you must not wait any longer to hire a professional attorney who can guide you on better following all the applicable data privacy regulations.

Understanding United States Data Security Laws

When speaking of data privacy laws in the United States, there needs to be a complete federal law regulating these statutes, despite various suggestions over the years. However, the American Data Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA), a recently developed federal privacy law, has made more progress than any of its predecessors. Yet, a complicated network of medium and sector-specific legislation exists, including advertising, telecommunications, health data, credit information, and financial firms.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a significant enforcement group in the United States that has broad authority to enforce consumer protection laws. It focuses primarily on unfair or deceptive trade practices. In 2021, a proposal that would have given the FTC an additional $500 million got postponed, but there is a buzz that the FTC may finally get the spending plan, resources, and staff it needs to act as the nation's de-facto privacy regulator.

In any case, the FTC uses its jurisdiction to make regulations, uphold privacy laws, and take enforcement measures to protect customers, even if it does not explicitly control what information should be provided in website privacy policies.

State Data Privacy Regulations

The states of the United States have hundreds of sector-specific data privacy and data protection legislation. State attorneys general in the United States is responsible for enforcing data privacy laws, particularly those relating to the security of Social Security numbers and the alerts of data breaches. These laws govern the selection, storage, protection, disposal, and use of personal data obtained from their residents.

Others solely apply to government entities, some only to private organizations, and some apply to both. In addition to sector-specific privacy rules, the United States is seeing a significant push for state-level privacy legislation. It is a result of the federal government's inability to agree on the best way to legislate.

State legislators have felt pressure to adopt their laws from customers, consumer groups, and businesses rather than wait. It is the sole reason businesses prefer hiring an attorney to review every state statute with which they must conform. Moreover, even though just five states in the United States have passed a comprehensive law thus far, many more are attempting to do so.

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What are the Different Privacy Acts?

Data privacy regulations control how businesses and the government regulate the data of their customers and residents, respectively. These statutes protect individuals' confidential data from being maltreated or used in predatory or malicious ways. Below are different data privacy laws prevalent in the United States.

  • California Consumer Privacy Act

    The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is the state law that thoroughly covers all provisions related to data security. On January 1, 2020, it came into effect after being enacted on June 28, 2018. The CCPA is a piece of cross-sector law that establishes crucial definitions, extensive specific customer rights, and onerous obligations on organizations or individuals who gather personal information from or about California residents.

    These obligations include notifying data subjects when and how their information is acquired and granting them access and the opportunity to modify or delete that data. In addition, a privacy statement posted on a company's website that collects the data must remain included in this notification.

  • Colorado Privacy Act

    Colorado passed a data privacy law in June 2020, making it the third U.S. state to do so. Colorado residents have rights over their data under the Colorado Privacy Act, which also imposes duties on data users and operators. It shares certain parallels with Virginia's recently passed Consumer Data Protection Act as well as California's two privacy rules, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).

    While many concepts and words from the EU's General Data Protection Regulation are used, some specific concepts are the right to opt out, specific precautions for sensitive data, and the acceptance of privacy-by-design principles.

  • California Privacy Rights Act

    Companies in California were unhappy with real estate agents' names appearing on a ballot measure for the California Consumer Privacy Act. Furthermore, CPRA, the nation's first strict privacy law, required businesses to adjust their operations which was unquestionably challenging.

    And how the CPRA will be applied is one of the more significant concerns. Therefore, except for situations where the Federal Trade Commission is present, state attorneys general normally handle privacy matters. The CPRA (California Privacy Rights Act) expands the enforcement powers of the existing California Attorney General’s office. Moreover, the California Privacy Protection Agency will be able to impose penalties on violators, conduct investigations into privacy breaches, and clarify privacy laws to ensure user data remains guarded.

  • Virginia's Consumer Data Protection Act

    In March 2021, Virginia passed the Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA). It gives residents of Virginia rights to their data and mandates that businesses subject to the law follow guidelines about the data they gather, how to handle and protect it, and who they can share it with within the organization.

    The provisions of the law bear some resemblance to those of the California Consumer Privacy Act and the EU General Data Protection Regulation. It applies to companies that operate in Virginia or market their goods and services to Virginians.

    By acquiring opt-in consent before handling customers' confidential data, disclosing when they will trade the information, and providing customers with an opt-out option, organizations covered by the CDPA must help customers exercise their data rights. Additionally, it mandates that businesses give users a clear privacy statement outlining their right to opt-out of targeted advertisements.

    The CPRA, which supersedes the CCPA and is California's most recent privacy law, goes into effect in January 2023, the same day the CDPA does. Therefore, you must keep an eye on this regulation as it develops because lawmakers might change them.


All businesses with an online presence, regardless of size, should have a data privacy policy informing consumers of the information gathered, how it is used, how it may get distributed, and how it is safeguarded. In addition, all data subjects should have the chance to fully consent before any personal information is collected to comply with U.S. and EU data protection legislation. Moreover, users should be allowed to accept, block, or disable cookies and send email queries for user information obtained from third parties.

So if your company lacks some crucial data privacy laws, you should consult a professional lawyer at ContractsCounsel as soon as possible. Our attorneys at ContractsCounsel help you remain compliant with all the privacy regulations and represent you in the tribunal if there's a data breach.

ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

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