Over the years, companies have increased their dependence on consumer data. Consumers have also become accustomed to providing it. From Bluetooth trackers to virtual assistants, consumers have allowed companies to access private details about their preferences, purchases, and lifestyle choices in exchange for better service.
Despite this, America has not significantly changed its data privacy legislation. California was the only state swiftly passing data privacy laws on the same schedule as the European Union. In fact, the California Consumer Privacy Act bears a striking resemblance to the General Data Protection Regulation.
The Current State of Data Privacy Laws in the US States
In California, consumers can request to be forgotten. When this happens, the company must delete all consumer records, including conversations recorded while capturing text messages and chats. California has since expanded its data privacy laws, and several other states have passed their own. These states include the following:
By February 2022, 22 states had pending data privacy laws working their way through the legislative process. Some states also have older data privacy laws on the books. These have primarily addressed library e-books, children’s internet use, monitoring employees’ emails, and using certain consumer data for insurance purposes.
The Current State of Data Privacy Laws at the Federal Level
Ironically, the US government, and its agencies require companies to store consumer data through text message archiving and other methods. Consequently, companies across the country engage in instant messaging and SMS recording to remain compliant.
Companies that fail to do this could face fines totaling billions of dollars. This conflict and potential penalties can confuse companies about balancing federal compliance with state-level privacy laws.
For example, what happens if a California customer closes their account with a financial institution and requests the total deletion of their records, such as any data generated via text message recording? Does the financial institution comply with the state-level deletion requirement or keep the records to comply with SEC guidelines?
While the US government has no comprehensive federal data privacy laws, it does have laws covering particular sectors. Consider the following:
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act: This law applies to health care providers, plans, and clearinghouses. It requires everyone who handles a specific type of medical data to safeguard it from unauthorized access. It does not include all kinds of data. For example, records from your fitness tracker do not fall into this category.
- Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: It applies to financial institutions. They must take measures to protect the confidentiality and security of customer information. It does not limit how financial institutions collect data but compels them to disclose what they do with the data.
- Fair Credit Reporting Act: It covers credit reporting agencies. These agencies must disclose the information they collect about you and how they use it. They must also provide you with a way to opt out of having your information shared.
- Driver’s Privacy Protection Act: This law applies to personal information collected by state motor vehicle departments. It compels the DMV and its partners to limit access to personal data unless it is for a permitted use, such as registering to vote.
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy: This applies to educational institutions that receive federal funding. It requires them to keep student information private and to allow students access to their records.
- The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act: This law applies to websites, apps, and online services intended for children under the age of 13 or that knowingly collect information from children. These companies must get parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children.
- The Electronic Communications Privacy Act: It applies to companies that provide email, cloud storage, and other online services. It requires these companies to get a warrant before turning over the contents of your communications to the government.
- The Video Privacy Protect Act: This one is a little outdated but still has some relevance. It passed in 1988 before the internet grew to what it is now. It prohibits video rental companies from disclosing your rental history without your consent. According to the NY Times, streaming companies have remained mostly exempt from this.
How Mobile Capturing and Archiving Solutions Can Help
Now that you know a little more about federal and state privacy laws, you might wonder how to ensure your company complies with both data privacy and retention laws. Mobile capturing and archiving solutions can help.
LeapXpert streamlines the recording, storage, and management of text messages and their content (text, images, videos) across leading consumer messaging apps (WhatsApp, iMessage) and mobile platforms (SMS). We help companies to comply with state-level data privacy laws by centralizing multichannel user records for easy data management.
Are you ready to see our instant message capturing solution at work? Book a demo today.
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