Personal Insurance Federation of Florida: Narrow “Private Cause of Action”
The Florida House Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee today passed House Bill 969 on consumer data privacy. Sponsored by Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-Sarasota, the bill imposes several requirements on businesses that use consumer information in Florida.
The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida (PIFF) expressed concern about broad language in the bill that might incite lawsuits.
“While consumer data privacy is an important issue, we are concerned that the creation of a broad and costly private right of action for any consumer who alleges a violation of the law goes too far,” said Michael Carlson, president and CEO of PIFF. “Protecting consumer data is a laudable policy goal, but it should not come with the creation of a new lawsuit mill that will enrich trial lawyers.”
An amendment adopted to HB 969 expands the current cause of action to allow consumers to sue for several violations of the law. It also permits the award of attorney fees if the consumer prevails in court. These provisions, combined with statutory damages ranging from $100 to $750 per consumer per incident, create new liability for affected businesses.
“We believe that a better enforcement tool would be to empower the Attorney General to enforce the law,” Carlson added.
The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida, Inc. (PIFF), is a leading voice for the personal lines property and casualty insurance industry in Florida. PIFF represents national insurance carriers and their subsidiaries, including many of the state’s top writers of private passenger auto and homeowners multiperil insurance. Together, PIFF members write more than $13 billion in premium in the state. PIFF advocates for a healthy and competitive insurance marketplace for the benefit of Florida consumers. Visit PIFF.net to learn more.