Media Post: Ad Industry And Consumer Groups Blast Rhode Island Privacy Bill

June 17, 2024

Consumer Reports, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Restore the Fourth also oppose the bill — though for different reasons. Those groups said in a letter sent to lawmakers last week that the measure “would do little to protect Rhode Island consumers’ personal information, or to rein in major tech companies like Google and Facebook.” 

The bill itself (HB 7787/SB 2500) has provisions that would require companies to allow consumers to opt out of the processing of “personal data” for targeted advertising and profiling — but that requirement appears to apply only to data that’s not pseudonymous. Much of the data that fuels online ad targeting, however, is pseudonymous, such as device identifiers or tracking cookies. 

Among other objections to the bill, the privacy advocates flagged the apparent carve-out for pseudonymous data, arguing that it “represents a major loophole that would essentially exempt the majority of the online advertising ecosystem from the most substantive aspects of this bill’s coverage.”

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