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Hello all, and happy Thursday! 

The American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) continues its slow but steady pace through the U.S. legislative process—but the Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) has officially come out to oppose the bill. 

The grounds for their opposition won’t surprise anyone who followed the American Data Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA). As was the case with the ADPPA, APRA’s fatal flaw lies in preemption. 

Having learned from the ADPPA, the APRA does include some language that would allow certain features from other laws to take precedence when applicable, such as the CCPA’s requirements around employee data. However, in their statement, the EFF lists several laws that would be rendered effectively moot should the APRA become law, including laws protecting AI regulation in Colorado, internet privacy in Maine, healthcare and tenant privacy in New York, and biometric privacy in Illinois. 

Most businesses would obviously prefer a federal law that sets a ceiling: that way, they know with absolute certainty what the strictest requirements are that they’ll have to meet regardless of where they operate. But organizations like the EFF or ACLU that focus more on consumer protections prefer a federal law that sets a floor: that way, consumers know with absolute certainty that they have certain rights at minimum. 

With more and more state data privacy laws, it’s getting harder to picture a world where there’s enough political will and motivation to compromise on this issue. Ultimately, the APRA’s fate might boil down to whether the U.S. can best tolerate a data privacy ceiling or floor. 




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