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The Proposed American Privacy Rights Act: An In-Depth Look

The American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) is emerging as a significant, bipartisan effort to set a national standard for privacy protections. This piece delves into the essence of the APRA, exploring its potential impact and the new legal landscape it proposes.

But first, here’s a quick summary of its main components:

  1. Data Management Principles: The legislation emphasizes the importance of minimizing data collection, maintaining transparency, and bolstering security to safeguard personal information.
  2. Consumer Rights: APRA empowers consumers with several new rights, including the ability to reject targeted advertising and the ability to access, correct, export, or erase their data.
  3. Executive Responsibility: The act requires companies to appoint qualified employees to act as privacy or data security officers, ensuring they actively manage and comply with privacy standards.
  4. National Data Broker Registry: This new registry would increase the transparency of data brokers’ activities, crucial players in the personal data marketplace.
  5. Prohibition of Mandatory Arbitration: The act allows consumers to pursue legal action in court rather than being forced into arbitration in significant privacy disputes.
  6. Private Right of Action: Six months post-enactment, consumers will have the right to sue companies that infringe on their privacy rights.
  7. Preemption of State Laws: APRA would supersede state privacy laws, with certain exceptions applying, stirring debate particularly in states like California with strong privacy statutes.
  8. Effective Date: The legislation would take effect 180 days after it becomes law, giving organizations time to align their operations with the new requirements.

American Privacy Rights Act


In the United States, navigating the privacy laws can seem quite challenging. As of 2024, many states have set their own rules, creating a complicated landscape that can confuse consumers and businesses alike. 

🚀 Check to see if US state privacy laws apply to you. Take this 1-min quiz

The APRA was drawn up as a possible answer to these problems, with the goal of harmonizing privacy laws throughout the nation. The measure, which was first presented in early 2024, aims to support people’s right to privacy and make compliance easier for businesses.

In April 2024, the APRA remains a contentious issue in Congress. Discussions concerning its provisions are being actively engaged in by government officials, IT corporations, and privacy advocates, among other stakeholders. The outcome of these discussions will have a significant impact on how personal data is managed and safeguarded at the federal level.

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Does the American Privacy Rights Act Apply to Me? 

The act introduces a broad definition of covered entity and provides significant exclusions. The act specifically exempts small businesses to prevent overwhelming them with stringent requirements. 

According to the APRA, small businesses are those that:

  • Generate $40,000,000 or less in annual revenue;
  • Handle the covered data of no more than 200,000 individuals annually; and
  • Do not profit from transferring covered data to third parties.

Consumer Rights and Control under the APRA

Under the new act, consumers are empowered with several rights and legal provisions that enhance their control over personal data and provide avenues for recourse:

  • The legislation grants people the following rights regarding data management:
    • the ability to transfer their data to other services; 
    • the ability to access, edit, and delete their data; and 
    • the ability to opt out, among others, of targeted advertising. 
  • Prohibition of compelled Arbitration: In situations when there is a substantial harm to privacy, the act forbids compelled arbitration, therefore addressing a major obstacle to the implementation of privacy laws. This gives customers the ability to sue in court, which may result in stronger enforcement of their right to privacy.
  • Private Right of Action: Businesses that disregard the act’s requirements are subject to lawsuits from customers.

Executive Responsibility: What you need to know

The APRA includes a noteworthy section that focuses on executive responsibility.

It’s straightforward: companies handling data must appoint qualified personnel as their privacy or data security officers. These workers are experts with two primary responsibilities:

    1. To set up and maintain a robust data privacy and security program;

    1. Ensure that the company continuously follows all the privacy requirements laid out in the act. So, if the law changes, they’re the ones making sure the company adapts accordingly.

Data Management Principles

The APRA highlights the significance of data reduction and mandates that businesses:

  1. limit the collection of personal data to what is directly relevant and necessary to accomplish specified purposes;
  2. increase transparency in data processing practices; and 
  3. strengthens obligations on data security.

National Data Broker Registry: American Privacy Rights Act

A nationwide registration for data brokers is introduced by the APRA. In order to ensure that data brokers abide by strict privacy regulations and safeguard individuals from unauthorized data usage, the APRA established a national data broker registration. This registry is intended to provide much-needed transparency to the activities of data brokers.

Preemption of State Laws

State vs. Federal Jurisdiction: One noteworthy feature of the APRA is its preemption of state privacy laws currently in effect. This keeps causing considerable controversy, especially in areas like California that have robust privacy safeguards already in place. The act aims to create a consistent national privacy standard, though it has exceptions for certain sectoral regulations.

Effective Date and Implementation: American Privacy Rights Act

The APRA is a groundbreaking piece of privacy law in the United States that would take effect 180 days after its enactment. It addresses significant topics like executive responsibility, consumer rights, and legal enforcement mechanisms. Businesses and consumers alike must get ready for the changes that this could bring.

Equip yourself with the knowledge to navigate the APRA confidently

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