A new data privacy bill (H.R.8152) could help marketers, even as it makes targeted advertising more difficult.

The American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADDPA) would provide a wide-reaching national privacy standard, overriding existing state privacy laws. As a result, marketers would only have to conform to one regulation instead of the 13 currently in place.

The data privacy bill is currently in markup in the House and may change before being sent to the Senate. However, extensive negotiations between Democrats and Republicans have already created significant bipartisan support.

Read next: Prioritizing data privacy leads to brand trust

In its current form, the ADDPA would: 

  • Prevent companies from collecting data beyond that needed to provide their products or services. 
  • Allow consumers to opt out of advertising.
  • Provide protections against discriminatory algorithms and ad delivery.
  • Allow consumers to correct or delete their data.
  • Let consumers bring private actions against companies for misuse of data after two years.
  • Ban companies from targeting consumers under 17 years old. 

On that last point, large companies could be charged with violating that ban if they knew or should have known about them. The ADDPA also creates a Youth Privacy and Marketing Division within the Federal Trade Commission for enforcement.

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One large issue still to be worked out: what the bill’s provisions on “sensitive covered data” — specifically information about medical treatment and biometric data — allow or prevent in light of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Why we care. There are many reasons the U.S. needs a national data privacy law. For marketers it would mean they are freed from having to handle data differently depending on which state it is operating in. While the ADDPA still has a long way to go before becoming law, let’s hope some nationwide standard is set soon.

About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.


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