2023 was a busy year for data privacy! Between a long list of newly passed laws and the announcement of a potentially game-changing decision by Google, marketers and privacy professionals had a lot to keep up with. As we move forward into 2024, let’s take some time to look back on the changes that will follow us into the new year.
New State Privacy Laws
The American Data Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA) made it out of committee, but has yet to make it to the congressional floor for a vote. It seems that multiple states got tired of waiting. Several states passed new privacy laws of their own this year, or previously passed regulations went into effect in 2023. The most notable examples include:
- Delaware: This law was introduced in May 2023 and signed into law the following September, making it one of the most quickly approved state privacy laws in recent memory. Its most notable features include robust definitions of important terms and a clear outline of consumer rights.
- Texas: Signed into law in June 2023, this legislation makes Texas the second-largest state after California to pass its own privacy law. It also appears to be one of the first state privacy laws to exempt “small businesses” from most of its requirements (although what qualifies as a “small business” varies between industries in the text).
- Utah: Though officially passed in 2022, Utah’s law didn’t go into effect until December 31, 2023. It’s also noticeably narrower in scope than most other laws on our list. Nonprofits, government entities, businesses covered by HIPPA, and several other specified organizations are exempt.
- Colorado: Colorado’s privacy regulation went into effect in July 2023. This law establishes five key rights for consumers, four of which are clearly inspired by the GDPR’s list of data subject rights.
- Connecticut: This law also took effect in July 2023. Businesses with customers in Connecticut should double-check their compliance with this law, since some of its definitions differ from similar guidelines.
- California: Strictly speaking, this wasn’t a new law, but an update to an existing one. These amendments took effect in January 2023 and established several new requirements, including additional consumer rights.
New International Privacy Laws
Meanwhile, other governments around the world were debating and passing their own comprehensive privacy laws in 2023. A few memorable examples include:
- India: Taking effect in August 2023, this new law followed several unsuccessful attempts to enact privacy regulations in India. The regulation introduces new legal definitions and consent requirements into Indian law.
- Jordan: Jordan’s law technically isn’t in full effect yet—that will come six months after its official adoption in September 2023. Its most significant requirements include dedicated data protection positions, transparency guidelines, and significant fines.
- Australia: This is another case of amendments updating an already existing privacy law. Australia’s newly adopted privacy requirements took effect in December 2023 and primarily exist to expand the reach of the original regulation.
Meta: Another Record-Setting Privacy Violation Fine
Privacy violation fines are nothing to sneeze at, and GDPR enforcement bodies tend to issue some of the highest financial penalties in the world for these violations. It seems like the highest on record changes every year. Last year, it changed again as the Irish Data Protection Authority issued a whopping €1.2 billion (approximately $1.4 billion USD) fine against Meta. Andrea Jelinek, Chair of the European Data Protection Board, called Meta’s data transfers “systematic, repetitive and continuous” and stated that the fine will serve as a warning to other companies. Meta was ordered to bring their data processing systems into compliance with the GDPR within a six-month period.
Third-Party Cookies Go Up in Smoke
By now, anyone in the marketing world knows that Google has announced its plans to eliminate third-party cookies. This change truly kicks off in 2024 and has significant implications for both data privacy and marketing. Several promising alternatives to third-party cookies do exist, most notably first-party cookies and tools like Google Sandbox. The true impact on marketing as professionals make the switch remains to be seen.
Moving into 2024
As 2024 kicks off, we can expect to see more changes and updates to the current state of privacy. Staying proactive is absolutely necessary. We can’t let ourselves be caught off guard by new laws, software updates, or similar events. By staying on top of new developments and being flexible, we can keep up with every new challenge.
For some extra help staying on top of the new year’s challenges, give our team of privacy experts a call today.