Fighting for You: March 2024 Legislative and Regulatory Update - Articles

Articles

The insights industry’s public policy concerns entered March roaring like a lion, but they are not exactly leaving it like a lamb.

President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address to Congress touched on a few of them, including privacy, artificial intelligence (AI) and research subjects who receive incentives.

Further this month, IA is engaging with legislation and regulation on data privacy, including potential harsh restrictions on data sharing with Chinese-controlled companies and restrictions in the Golden State on neural data; all manner of AI-related legislation (from transparency measures and state registries, to restrictions on research subject sampling and segmentation); a potential state sales tax on insights; and some state bills that would be problematic for insights calls and texts.

Consumer privacy and data security

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has laid out another warning on AI, this time focused on potential changes to corporate privacy policies to accommodate broad data "harvesting” for AI.

There’s a new state task force on AI being launched in Washington State, while the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is standing up a new institute focused on AI safety.

IA is also tracking and engaging with a lot more AI-related legislation this month, such as:

  • The Utah Artificial Intelligence Policy Act would require transparency to consumers when interacting with generative artificial intelligence (AI), set up a licensing program for companies developing AI, and add “synthetic data” to the definition of “deidentified data” in Utah’s comprehensive state privacy law.
  • The Oklahoma Artificial Intelligence Bill of Rights would require transparency regarding AI and machine learning, data privacy and security measures and annual risk assessments for AI, and prohibit "algorithmic or model bias."
  • A pair of Maryland bills would restrict “algorithmic decision systems” in connection with screening applicants for employment.
  • The Illinois Commercial Algorithmic Impact Assessments Act would require annual impact assessments, and certain disclosures and notices, from developers and deployers of AI used in decision-making involving research subjects who receive any kind of incentives for participation in insights studies; and
  • The Illinois Automated Decision Tools Act would regulate AI used in decision-making, including decisions involving research subjects who receive any kind of incentives for participation in insights studies. Sampling and segmentation decisions could be subject to private lawsuits.
  • The AI Foundation Model Transparency Act in Congress would require the establishment of standards for AI foundation models and their training, including transparency.

California has its own growing tranche, including:

And an existing California law requiring transparency from online chatbots does not apply to insights uses, but already is something of a model for legislation elsewhere on artificial intelligence.

Tax

Legislation in Maryland would impose sales and use taxes on most services, including insights services.

Telephone

Two problematic bills for market research via phone and text cropped up this month:

  • The West Virginia Telephone Consumer Protection Act, legislation modeled on Maryland’s recent law, would require prior express written consent for many phone calls and texts for research purposes to a West Virginia resident or area code, among other requirements and restrictions.
  • Legislation in New Jersey would treat many market research telephone calls and texts using many kinds of automation as if they were telemarketing, requiring prior express consent and subjecting them to the state do not call registry.

With appreciation for the insights industry’s support

All the public policy threats to the insights industry across the United States would be an insurmountable challenge without advocacy from the Insights Association, but we couldn’t counter them, nor find positive opportunities for advancement, without the sponsorship and support of our members, especially our company and corporate department members.

We remain available to answer your questions and concerns on legislative/regulatory/legal issues. Please keep in contact.

This information is not intended and should not be construed as or substituted for legal advice. It is provided for informational purposes only. It is advisable to consult with private counsel on the precise scope and interpretation of any laws/regulation/legislation and their impact on your particular business.

About the Author

Howard Fienberg

Howard Fienberg

Based in Washington, DC, Howard is the Insights Association's lobbyist for the marketing research and data analytics industry, focusing primarily on consumer privacy and data security, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), tort reform, and the funding and integrity of the decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). Howard has more than two decades of public policy experience. Before the Insights Association, he worked in Congress as senior legislative staffer for then-Representatives Christopher Cox (CA-48) and Cliff Stearns (FL-06). He also served more than four years with a science policy think tank, working to improve the understanding of scientific and social research and methodology among journalists and policymakers. Howard is also co-director of The Census Project, a 900+ member coalition in support of a fair and accurate Census and ACS. He has also served previously on the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics and and the Association of Government Relations Professionals. Howard has an MA International Relations from the University of Essex in England and a BA Honors Political Studies from Trent University in Canada, and has obtained the Certified Association Executive (CAE), Professional Lobbying Certificate (PLC) and the Public Policy Certificate (PPC). When not running advocacy for the Insights Association, Howard enjoys hockey, NFL football, sci-fi and horror movies, playing with his dog, and spending time with family and friends.

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