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Federal Legislators Introduce the American Privacy Rights Act

08 May

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All employersSee Details Below


What happened?

On April 7, 2024, another round at the creation of a national privacy law may have a chance spearheaded by a Bipartisan and Bicameral bill, sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). Expectations are high with the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA).


What are the details?

Background

  • Following the enactment of the California Consumer Privacy Act, many states have followed California’s lead. 
  • State laws share a common structure, defining personal information broadly, outlining responsibilities for businesses and service providers (e.g., notice, policy, safeguards, data minimization, among others), and enhancing consumer rights and transparency (e.g., opt out of sale, deletion, correction, etc.). However, specifics vary across states.

APRA

  • If passed, the APRA would establish a broad federal data privacy system, granting US residents specific personal data rights, overriding state privacy laws, enabling private legal action, and tackling various other privacy matters.
  • The law contains several categories of exceptions, including for small businesses that satisfy certain criteria.
  • Other topics that the APRA intends to regulate are High-Impact Social Media companies and large Data Holders, and Automated Decision-Making Tools.


Business Considerations

  • Employers should respect and facilitate the exercise of employee data rights, such as the right to access, correct, delete, and export their data, facilitating robust data security measures in place to protect employee data.
  • Employers should only collect and use employee data for necessary and limited purposes. They should avoid unnecessary data collection and storage. This includes taking measures to ensure that they do not discriminate in decisions related to hiring, promotions, and benefits.
  • If employers use automated decision-making tools (e.g., performance evaluations), they should be transparent about their use and allow employees to opt-out.
  • Employers should ensure compliance with the APRA to avoid penalties, including regular audits and updates to data practices.
  • Employers should communicate and train their data practices to employees through accessible and understandable policies, practices, and procedures.
  • Employers should consider implementing a centralized opt-out mechanism for employees to simplify the exercise of privacy rights.


Source References


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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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