In recent discussions surrounding House Bill 591 in Louisiana, a bill that aims to create uniform regulations for online marketplaces and strengthen consumer data protection, there has been a notable misrepresentation of its scope and purpose. It’s time to set the record straight: HB 591 does not prevent local governments from regulating the specific goods and services provided by online marketplaces, such as short-term rentals. Rather, this bill aims to provide consistency and predictability to the global marketplaces that help drive the innovation economy for Louisiana and its residents.

At TechNet, a national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives, we understand the importance of clear, consistent regulatory frameworks.

Online marketplaces allow for the exchange of goods and services and provide an accessible pathway for entrepreneurship to Louisiana residents who were once prevented from starting a business due to barriers like lack of capital. The economic and income opportunities enabled by these platforms, however, could be prevented from progressing – or, worse, potentially regressing – due to hundreds of different, often conflicting, local regulations. HB 591 would leave the regulation of these marketplaces to the state, resulting in far fewer inconsistencies in how these marketplaces are regulated from one locality to another.

HB 591 also helps protect consumer data by preventing online marketplaces from sharing personal user information without a subpoena or court order.

HB 591 is critical to maintaining a robust and fair playing field for all digital platforms to the ultimate benefit of every Louisianian who interacts with them. Importantly, local authorities can continue enforcing regulations on the services and products, such as short-term rentals, offered through online marketplaces.

Let’s embrace the comprehensive benefits of HB 591 and support a bill that propels Louisiana to the forefront of technological progress and consumer protection.


TechNet’s executive director for Texas and the Southeast

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