It appears that the data privacy bill the Iowa House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to send to the state Senate is dead. Supposedly, because a Senate committee did not report out the bill before 18 March, it cannot proceed to Senate consideration before the Iowa legislature ends its current session in mid-April. And yet, nonetheless, I have also read there are ways to still move legislation in the Senate. Consequently, it is not clear whether Iowa’s data privacy bill is still alive.
What is clear, however, is that Iowa’s bill is very similar to Utah’s recently passed data privacy bill that is awaiting action by Governor Spencer Cox (R) in that it is very industry friendly. As with Utah’s bill, the bill sent to the Iowa Senate provides fewer rights than most of the other data privacy bills enacted in states or introduced in Congress, certainly fewer than California’s operative and forthcoming bills. The passage of Utah’s bill, and the advancing of Iowa’s bill seem to be part of a concerted effort by industry stakeholders to enact laws they favor in states while the Congress continues to deadlock on data privacy. Should industry stakeholders succeed in more states, they may change their position on one national law to replace all state laws and may even abandon efforts to get a national law. The odds of this scenario occurring increase if the new state laws are broadly very similar as is the case with the Utah and Iowa legislation.
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