What You Need to Know About Wisconsin’s Data Privacy Bill (AB 957)

Data Privacy

Wisconsin tacked its name on to the ever-growing list of states that are considering enacting comprehensive privacy bills. Here’s what you need to know about the status and projected timeline for Wisconsin’s privacy legislation — and how you can get ahead of it.

Wisconsin’s Assembly passed an amended version of AB 957 on February 23, 2022. The bill was initially introduced on February 3. The amended version is currently pending in the Senate’s Government Operations, Legal Review, and Consumer Protection Committee as of February 24. The Senate has not scheduled a hearing for the bill yet, despite the fact Wisconsin’s legislature closes on March 10, 2022.

Who Does Wisconsin’s Privacy Bill Affect?

The amended version of Wisconsin’s AB 957 is similar to the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA). For instance, it does not allow for a private right of action, nor does it require controllers to implement universal opt-out signals.

AB 957 would grant consumers a number of rights over their personal data, such as:

  • the right to correct inaccuracies of a consumer’s personal data
  • the right to delete or obtain personal data about the consumer
  • the right to access and confirm whether a controller is processing a consumer’s personal data
  • the right to opt out of the sale or processing of personal data for the purposes of targeted advertising

The bill would also exempt certain entities from coverage, including governmental bodies, financial institutions, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and certain entities that are subject to federal health privacy laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

AB 957 Controller and Processor Responsibilities

The amended version provides for a number of consumer rights and requires controllers to limit the collection of personal data to what is adequate, relevant, and reasonably necessary for the purposes of why it is being processed.

The bill would apply to persons who conduct business in Wisconsin or produce products and/or services that target Wisconsin residents and satisfy either of the following conditions:

  • control or process the personal data of at least 100,000 consumers in a calendar year; or
  • control or process the personal data of at least 25,000 consumers and derive over 50% of gross revenue from the sale of personal data.

Other Wisconsin Privacy Bills in Consideration

The Wisconsin legislature is also considering three other privacy bills: SB 957, SB 977, and AB 1050. All three concern the protection of consumer privacy and personal data, and their legislative histories are as follows:

  • SB 957 was introduced on February 9, 2022. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Legal Review and Consumer Protection on February 23 and has not shown any further activity.
  • SB 977 was introduced, read, and referred to the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Legal Review, and Consumer Protection on February 9, 2022, with no further activity.
  • AB 1050 was introduced, read, and referred to the Assembly Committee on Consumer Protection on February 17, 2022, where it is also stalled.

If the Wisconsin legislature passes any of the four pending privacy bills, BigID can help covered businesses by automating the fulfillment of consumer data rights requests — such as deletions, corrections, or access to personal data.

BigID also enables businesses to identify and classify data that falls under special protections like biometric data or the personal data associated with children under the age of 13. Learn more about BigID’s privacy capabilities to stay ahead of compliance.