The Impact of Florida’s Digital Bill of Rights on Small Businesses
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a groundbreaking “Digital Bill of Rights” into law, aimed at protecting the privacy of online users. While the move has been hailed as a significant step forward for individual privacy rights, there are concerns that it may have unintended consequences for small businesses.
The new law requires online platforms to provide users with greater control over their collected data, including the ability to access and delete it. In addition, the legislation prohibits online games and products targeting children from taking, sharing, or selling user information. Governor DeSantis believes that this law will empower Floridians and prevent excessive data collection by large corporations.
During the legislative session, the Digital Bill of Rights received widespread bipartisan support, with only two dissenting votes. However, one particular provision has raised concerns among nonprofit organizations, local governments, and small businesses. This provision allows users to opt out of data collection by social media and search engines like Facebook and Google.
While the ability to opt out may seem like a positive development for individual privacy, it could have adverse effects on small businesses that rely on targeted advertising. Many organizations, including underwater photographer Kimber Greenwood from Gainesville, use data collected by these platforms to create cost-effective and tailored ads. Greenwood, who spends around $500 per month on Google and Facebook ads, fears that restricting data collection could make her ads more expensive and less effective.
Greenwood emphasizes that her targeted ads allow her to reach potential customers who may not have known about her services otherwise. She worries that without the ability to utilize data for advertising, her industry could suffer significant setbacks. Instead of running generic advertisements on television or radio, which can be costly and less targeted, she relies on data-driven advertising to connect with individuals interested in scuba diving and photography.
The impact on small businesses like Greenwood’s will depend on how companies choose to implement the new law and the number of users who opt out of data collection. Although the Digital Bill of Rights aims to protect individuals’ privacy, striking a balance between privacy rights and the needs of small businesses will be crucial.
As the provisions of the law come into effect on July 1st, all eyes will be on Florida to see how this groundbreaking legislation shapes the future of data privacy and its impact on both individuals and businesses in the state.