Indiana, Iowa, and Tennessee Pass Comprehensive Privacy Laws

It’s been a big month for US data privacy. Indiana, Iowa, and Tennessee all passed state privacy laws, bringing the total number of states with a privacy law up to eight. No private right of action in any of those, which means it’s up to the states to enforce the laws.

Posted on May 24, 2023 at 7:23 AM11 Comments


Winter May 24, 2023 9:58 AM

No private right of action in any of those, which means it’s up to the states to enforce the laws.

Crucial parts:

Neither statute creates a private right of action (as is the case in all such similar laws except those in California) as enforcement authority is held exclusively by each state’s Attorney General. Fines under both laws can be for up to $7,500 per violation, but Iowa requires a notice and cure period (90 days in Iowa and 30 days in Indiana) before such fines can be imposed.

I would characterize this as: Toothless and Privacy-theater


The Iowa law does not give residents the right to correct their personal data or to opt out of profiling or automated decision-making and does not require Iowa businesses to recognize universal opt-out signals.

Iowa is Opt-Out Indiana is Opt-In:

Under Iowa law, entities can only process sensitive data collected from a consumer for a nonexempt purpose unless they provide the consumer with clear notice and an opportunity to opt out of such processing. Under Indiana law, entities cannot process sensitive data without obtaining the consumer’s consent.

These laws were predicted after the GDPR&California came in force. Their one and only purpose is to prevent the implementation of meaningful privacy laws. Crucially, these laws were written to preempt the implementation of federal privacy laws that allowed private right of action.

Clive Robinson May 24, 2023 11:05 AM

@ ALL,

Whilst some legislation is generally better than no legislation, that is not the case with “fig-leaf legislation”.

As @Winter has pointed out these laws are effectively discretionary via “political office” thus in effect “never use” / “blackmale financial backing” legislation. And worse not even close to the minimum that is realy needed and very urgently.

What these defective and usless legislations will do is act as a delaying tactic…

Anyone arguing for better legislation be it in a state or federally will get told by the lobby funded politicians,

“But we’ve already done that so no more, not now, or ever…”

So from my point of view as a non US citizen these laws are actually a retrograde step designed to hide the fact that bo action will be taken, unless corporate behaviour is so egregious, and the political noise so loud, that the politicians will be forced to act at some barest minimum level and then stretch it out untill the argument has become such “old news” it can get dropped or buried.

In the UK we call such political nonsense “kicking it into the long grass” where it will remain “sight unseen” for ever… Or as in quite a number of UK investigations a quater century or more, at which point the “too old to prosecute” excuse kicks in…

People in the US talk in almost scared tones about the EU GDPR, if I said that the GDPR was it’s self way to weak, and the real reason we hear about it is only because a student went the distance on making a series of cases and presenting them…

Then you will understand two things,

1, Why these laws have the “No private right of action” clauses.

2, Why these clauses make a mockery of democracy and justice.

I give them a year maybe two before people start claiming they are not just defective, but designed such that they won’t be used as long as the corporates pump money into politicians pockets as campaign contributions etc…

Lucian May 24, 2023 11:31 AM

4th Amedment, US Constitution, has always guaranteed a personal right to privacy — but American government has always crafted ways to ignore it.

The Federal Government is by far the biggest threat to all Americans’ privacy — its illicit surveillance and intrusion activities are staggering; no private entity is comparable.
State governments act the same, but have no where near the resource capability of the oppressive Feds.

Winter May 24, 2023 12:21 PM


The Federal Government is by far the biggest threat to all Americans’ privacy

Actually, no. It is private companies that do 90%+ of the surveillance. Sometimes paid by government, but mostly for their own profit.

These laws are characterized by the doors they open for commercial exploitation of private data.

ZYX May 24, 2023 1:14 PM

The tech giants will sooner or later give Americans some privacy protections after the EU punish them into GDPR compliance.

The mere fact of tech giants complying with GDPR is going to have positive trickle down effects on protecting the privacy around the world. Just like Google unwilling and half-heartedly follow behind Apple’s lead in privacy protection. The sad thing the trickle down process is very slow.

Joe May 24, 2023 4:28 PM

I would bet that privacy protection will not extend to women seeking abortions, morning after pills, or birth control that could be used for morning after.

Clive Robinson May 24, 2023 9:37 PM

@ Joe, ALL,

Re : Carve out is crack to failure.

“I would bet that privacy protection will not extend to women seeking … birth control …”

It is very clear that some US States take significant action against women wishing to have reproductive control.

It is clear that those wishing to deny those reproductive rights to women behave as domestic terrorists, and unfortunatly show that the US political structure is quite happy to use terrorism against a very significant percentage of the pipulation.

That is a few of a certain minority population of effectively extream political/religious views that have given rise to them visiting violence on others, have every intention of turning those extream and violent views into discriminating against that percentage and treating them as vassals or slaves to their whims.

Proving to the world that contrary to US Political Mantra, about “Not giving way to terrorists” they have indeed done exactly that, and not for the first time.

This turning a blind eye to terrorism for political and social gain makes those who “favour the view” complicit in any and all terroristic acts carried out. The fact they try to legalise these acts of violence against that significant percentage of the population does not make them any less “terroristic acts”.

Thus people should ask, if these minority political / religious zealots are alowed to behave as terrorists –to one significant percentage of the population who do not share those views– how long before they become emboldened to inflict their minority views via a prelude of violence on other significant percentages of the population?

There was a demonstration of just how far those minority political views would be pushed with extreamism, intimidation, violence and worse towards the end of the last decade and just into this. They are clearly an ever present danger to the safety and security of the US population, that let us be honest has not been dealt with in the way other forms of terrorism have been.

US citizens should actually pause and consider do they want minority political / religious view points to be used as a tool of fear and violence against them for political coercion? You would hope not. So for other citizens to be complicit by saying they are not part of the group being terrorized so it’s not their concern has unfortunately been a reoccuring theme in US Politics, and only encorages those extreamismist and terroristic activities.

Thus these “political carve outs” against minority groups have certainly become a crack that has been continuously forced opened in the past few years. Unless the US citizens say “NO More” very boldly then it is only going to get worse, and at some point everyone becomes a minority group to some political / religious zelot who has gained and wishes to remain in power.

So the price of “turn the eye complicity” is that at some point you will become a victimized group. That is democracy will be shattered and replaced by arbitary rules of oppression and those who grab power will be able to extort further power and control from the likes of the “short term thinking” of executive persons in corporate and similar positions.

As @Lucien pointed out above,

“The Federal Government is by far the biggest threat to all Americans’ privacy”

But they do not have the resources to act on it.

Which is why @Winter says,

“Actually, no. It is private companies that do 90%+ of the surveillance. Sometimes paid by government, but mostly for their own profit.”

What @Winter has not said but I will,

“This legislation is designed much as earlier US legislation has been, to force corporates to provide those in power with surveillance capabilities the politicians and government agencies do not have to pay for, just ‘free ride’ on. Worse these laws are discretionary in a way such that they give those in power a very significant stick to beat corporates into providing not just surveillance but political and other funding.”

It is the logical and expected consequence of “Citizens United”[1] back in 2010, where SCOTUS very stupidly assumed that unlimited corporate money alowed into politics would some how magically be benign…

Worse SCOTUS also stupidly assumed that once in place such a financial channel would not be used by politicians as a way to extort corporates into “paying fiscally or in kind” to those in powers benifit.

Well expect to see increasing amounts of such “gun to the head” legislation to enable certain political types to extort money and resources out of corporates to the great deficit of the ordinary US citizen and voter…

But worse look back less than 100years in US history, to compulsory sterilisation of those claimed to be “degenerate or defectives”, likewise for the same reasons the witholding of education and political rights from minority but significant groups of citizens.

This is what the US is now facing and prisons will be profitably filled not with criminals, but ordinary citizens who those in power see as not just a threat to their hold on power, but as a way to make profit from.

Few people are alive to remember WWII interment camps of those living and working in the US who’s only crime was to be,

1, A political opportunity.
2, Being descended from Italian, German, Japanese and other countries their parents, grand parents and great grand parents had left for what they hoped would be a more free and better life.

This is what the US is going to head back to via such chains of legislation. We fail to realise the lessons of the 1930’s legislation not just in Germany but most Western Nations and many other Nations.

If we don’t learn from our past, what hope is there for the future?

[1] Citizens United was nothing what so ever to do with “Citizens” but institutionalising “corruption” by a few wealthy individuals to control politicians,

But as with all such “doors” once opened things go both ways. These new laws are very deliberately designed to have “political discretion”. Which is like giving,

“A WMD and immunity to use it to a street thug”.

That is you know darn well the thug will use it to extort via “protectionism” or worse from those who have to be on the street, but can not bring a bigger WMD as deterance against the thug…

Winter May 25, 2023 6:37 AM


It is very clear that some US States take significant action against women wishing to have reproductive control.

These anti-abortion lawd constitute a White Supremacists breeding program.


Although most people today assume that anti-abortion laws were motivated by moral or religious beliefs about a foetus’s right to life, that is far from the whole story. In fact, the first wave of anti-abortion laws were entangled in arguments about nativism, eugenics and white supremacism, as they dovetailed with a cultural panic that swept the US in the late 19th and early 20th century as a result of the vast changes in American society wrought by the conflict. This panic was referred to at the time in shorthand as “race suicide”.

White nationalists are flocking to the US anti-abortion movement

Race Against Time: How White Fear of Genetic Annihilation Fuels Abortion Bans

Clive Robinson May 25, 2023 9:21 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

Re : As in all things human a spectrum.

“These anti-abortion lawd constitute a White Supremacists breeding program.”

For some at one end of the spectrum, yes, and they exploit the power hungry politicians, who in turn exploit the overly religious, who in turn exploit people who simply are responding to an inbuilt genetic response to protect the young.

Running in parallel with that control / enslavment spectrum is one of preditory opportunism, that is those that see a better or easier way of life, by attaching themselves like barnacles hanging on parasitically for a free ride. Some with slightly more averice move limpet like devouring all in their way including the barnacles, moving their way up towards the supremacist end of the control / enslavment spectrum looking to force women to be subservient to their ideals.

Unfortunately as you know that end of the spectrum is very attractive to those who have significant dark tetrad traits be they narcissism, sadism, psychopathy, Machiavellism, or some mixture there of.

Arguably these people have a short term benifit to society, but unarguably in the long term they are highly destructive, not just to society but themselves. Their behaviours in the past have been responsible for much of our criminal codes, legislation and regulation.

Unfortunately they have learnt to manipulate society and the basic greed of many. Thus as anyone who syands back a pace or two can see, legislation that should be passed to limit their harms, gets killed long before it gets to the point of being codified and those trying to promote it themselves get attacked by criminal sanctions. Worse most legislators are only passing legislation to harm society, as well as enable a self select few to stay not just in power but in a position to attract the free loading limpets.

If you don’t believe that last part, consider all those “wives” that stand by their philandering partners as long as the idiot partners retain status… When that status wanes they strip the shirts of the idiots back so the wolves can get a better bite…

Such is the behaviours around womens fertility rights.

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