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California: AG leads multistate coalition and sends letter to congressional leaders requesting changes to APRA

On May 8, 2024, California Attorney General, Rob Bonta, announced that they led a multistate coalition of 15 Attorneys General (AGs) and sent a letter, urging congressional leaders to remove the preemPtion language in the current draft of the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA), which is said to impair existing state-level protections. The AGs include those of:

  • Connecticut;

  • Delaware;

  • Hawaii;

  • Illinois;

  • Maine;

  • Massachusetts;

  • Maryland;

  • Minnesota;

  • Nevada;

  • New York;

  • Oregon;

  • Pennsylvania;

  • Vermont; and

  • District of Columbia.

According to the letter, Attorney General Bonta and the coalition called on the U.S. Congress to set a floor and not a ceiling with any federal privacy law, and to not undermine any additional protections states provide or would provide in future legislation. Notably, the letter states that adopting a federal baseline has been a successful approach in other consumer privacy contexts, such as laws relating to children's privacy, financial privacy, and health privacy, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) as examples.

Additionally, the letter also highlights the importance of state-level privacy legislation, due to states' ability to quickly adjust to technological challenges and data collection practices that may elude federal oversight.

You can read the press release here and the letter here.