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Minnesota Sends Comprehensive Privacy Law to Governor

Julie Rubash, General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer
May 20, 2024
MIinnesota Sends Comprehensive Privacy Law to Governor

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Minnesota Sends Comprehensive Privacy Law to Governor

One day before the end of the 2024 legislative session, the Minnesota legislature passed an omnibus bill, HF 4757, containing the Consumer Data Privacy Act. If signed by the Governor, the comprehensive privacy law will become effective July 31, 2025.

TAKEAWAY

The law most closely resembles Connecticut’s privacy law, but it has borrowed certain aspects from other states as well. For example, Minnesota, like Oregon, will give consumers the right to request from controllers a list of specific third parties (as opposed to categories of third parties) to which personal data has been disclosed. The law also adopts several requirements from California and Colorado rules regarding the extension of opt-out rights and privacy notices. In addition to provisions adopted from other states, the Minnesota law also creates some brand new requirements, including, most notably, requirements to maintain “an inventory of the data” that is processed and a “description of the policies and procedures” that the controller has adopted to comply with the law.  

New Wave of California Tracking Technology Lawsuits Filed

As reported by Baker Hostetler, at least five complaints were filed against large retailers based on the use of web-tracking technologies during online credit card transactions, in each case alleging violations of the California Song Beverly Credit Card Act (“Song Beverly”), a law enacted in 1971. Song Beverly prohibits businesses from requesting or requiring personal identification information (PII) from cardholders as a condition to accepting the credit card as payment, except for specific purposes listed in the law (e.g., as obligated by law or by contract to complete the credit card transaction). The recent complaints allege that the defendants collected “first and last name, home address, email address, zip code, and IP address” as part of every credit card transaction, including through the use of tracking technologies, and used such data for undisclosed targeted marketing efforts in violation of Song Beverly. 

TAKEAWAY

Song Beverly is a law that is likely very well known to brick-and-mortar retail companies, who are accustomed to ensuring their checkout policies and procedures at the point of sale don’t involve requests for telephone numbers, email addresses, etc., at least in a manner that could be perceived by the consumer as a condition of the credit card transaction. In the brick-and-mortar context, courts have historically denied claims based on requests for additional PII where it is made very clear to the consumer that the provision of PII is entirely voluntary and not a condition of use of a credit card (e.g., if it is made clear that the data can be provided if the consumer wants to join a rewards program or be added to a mailing list). In the online context, the California Supreme Court has held that Song Beverly does not apply to online purchases in certain contexts (e.g., the purchase of digital goods), but the breadth of the application of this ruling remains unclear and does not seem to deter the plaintiff’s bar from filing lawsuits regarding online transactions. 

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A Little Privacy, Please weekly recaps are provided for general, informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied upon for legal decision-making. Please consult an attorney to determine how legal updates may impact you or your business.

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