Virginia Next in Line to Enact Privacy Law

Virginia is poised to be the next state that enacts its own data privacy law, which some reports say is similar to the California Consumer Protection Act, although it does not include one provision that made the CCPA more problematic for companies.

Slightly different versions of the Virginia Data Consumer Protection Act were passed in the state’s House of Delegates and Senate, and a compromise bill could be on Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk at some point this month. If Gov. Northam signs the bill, which he is expected to do, it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

The law would apply to any company that conducts business in Virginia and controls or processes the personal data of at least 100,000 consumers or derives more than 50% of its gross revenue from the sale of personal data and processes or controls the personal data of at least 25,000 consumers. It would require that companies disclose the personal data that they collect as well as describe the reasons why it collects such data.

Among the rights provided to consumers in Virginia under the law are:

  • The right to confirm whether a controller is processing personal data and the right to access that data, known as the Right to Access.
  • The right to correct inaccurate personal data.
  • The right to delete personal data.
  • The right to obtain personal data in a portable and readily usable format.
  • The right to opt-out of the processing of personal data for targeted advertising, and sale of personal data.

One notable provision that is not included in the Virginia law is a private right of action allowing consumers to sue if they feel that a company has violated their rights.

As more states move forward with their own versions of a privacy law, the heat that is placed on Congress to enact a federal law may increase.

“These efforts only heighten the need for a federal framework on digital privacy and consumer protection, incorporating not just traditional privacy protections but also measures on things like dark patterns,” said Sen. Mark Warner [D-Va.], in a published media report.

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