The regular session of the Florida Legislature began on March 5, 2019. Over the course of the 60 day session, the Legislature will consider a number of bills on a variety of topics. Among the measures that will be considered are two bills that address biometric information privacy: one from House Representative Bobby DuBose (D) (HB1153) and one from Senator Gary Farmer, Jr. (D) (SB 1270).

HB 1153 and SB 1270 aim to “establish[] requirements and restrictions on private entities as to the use, collection, and maintenance of biometric identifiers and biometric information.” In addition to being identical to each other, both bills are substantively identical to Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act. The Illinois Act provides statutory damages for negligent, reckless, or intentional violations of the statute. Recently, the state’s Supreme Court also held that actual harm is not required to bring a claim for statutory damages under the Illinois Act.

The House bill was referred to the Business and Professions Subcommittee, the Civil Justice Subcommittee, and the Commerce Committee. The Senate bill was referred to the Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Rules Committee.

If enacted, the legislation would take effect on October 1, 2019.