Published: May 2024Click To View (PDF)

During the legislative process, members of US Congress must decide the enforcement mechanisms that will be included in each piece of proposed legislation. Debates frequently arise around including a private enforcement process for harmed individuals rather than leaving enforcement in the hands of governmental agencies or state actors.

The American Privacy Rights Act discussion draft announced 7 April 2024 is no exception. Co-sponsored by House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chair Maria Cantwell, D-Wash, this bicameral and bipartisan proposal aims to give Americans private rights of action to seek judicial redress for harmful violations. The inclusion of a PRA in proposed comprehensive privacy legislation is not novel, but to date, no comprehensive privacy law has been enacted at the federal level.

This chart depicts a high-level overview of enacted federal laws related to data, digital, technology and telecommunications that include PRAs as an enforcement mechanism against bad actors, as well as the scope of the PRA for each applicable statute.

Private rights of action in US privacy legislation
In tandem with this chart, the IAPP published a resource article examining private rights of action in US state and federal privacy legislation, including enforcement provisions contained in the revised discussion draft of the APRA.
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