There are currently no comprehensive Wisconsin privacy laws or Wisconsin consumer privacy acts that directly govern the regulation, storage, sharing, and use of personally identifiable information in the state.
In 2022, Wisconsin took a swing at implementing a state privacy law. Assembly Bill 957 (AB 957) passed successfully through one chamber but stalled in the Senate. Time will tell if a new bill will be drafted in 2023.
The now-dead Wisconsin privacy act closely followed the structure and style of the Virginia Data and Consumer Protection Act (VCDPA).
Key Points of the Failed Wisconsin Privacy Bill:
Consumers would be given a range of rights regarding their personal data under AB 957, including:
- the right to have inaccurate personal data on a consumer corrected
- the ability to determine whether a controller is processing a consumer’s personal data and the right to access and delete or obtain that consumer’s personal data.
- the choice not to have your personal data sold or processed for the purpose of receiving targeted advertising
Exempts various entities and information types, including state government entities:
- financial institutions and data subject to GLBA
- covered entities, business associates, and protected health information governed by HIPAA
- nonprofit organizations; institutions of higher education; information governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act
- information governed by the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act
- personal data governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- personal data governed by the Farm Credit Act
- personal data collected in relation to employment
- a controller that complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is deemed in compliance with obligations under this Act.
The bill would apply to persons who conduct business in Wisconsin or produce products and/or services that target Wisconsin residents and satisfy either of the following conditions:
- control or process the personal data of at least 100,000 consumers in a calendar year; or
- control or process the personal data of at least 25,000 consumers and derive over 50% of gross revenue from the sale of personal data.
What is the Importance of Consumer Data Privacy?
Consumer data privacy is important for several reasons:
- Protection of Personal Information
Privacy laws and regulations aim to protect individuals’ personal information from unauthorized access, misuse, and abuse. By implementing privacy measures, businesses can help prevent data breaches, identity theft, fraud, and other harmful activities that can negatively impact consumers.
- Trust and Confidence
Demonstrating a commitment to consumer data privacy builds trust and confidence among customers. When individuals feel that their personal information is handled with care and respect, they are more likely to engage in transactions and maintain a positive relationship with businesses.
- Privacy Rights
Privacy laws recognize and protect individuals’ fundamental rights to privacy and personal autonomy. Respecting consumer data privacy rights fosters a sense of control over one’s personal information, allowing individuals to make informed choices about how their data is collected, used, and shared.
- Compliance with Laws and Regulations
Many jurisdictions have enacted privacy laws and regulations that impose legal obligations on businesses regarding the protection of consumer data. Compliance with these laws is essential to avoid legal repercussions, financial penalties, and reputational damage.
Overall, consumer data privacy is crucial for maintaining trust, protecting individuals’ rights, and fostering responsible data practices in an increasingly digital world. By prioritizing privacy, businesses can enhance their relationships with customers, mitigate risks, and demonstrate their commitment to ethical and responsible data handling.