Privacy Prevails in the Peach State: Georgia Becomes 19th State to Pass the PPPA

May 7, 2024 | Luke Wachob

Following Nebraska’s unanimous passage of the Personal Privacy Protection Act (PPPA) earlier this spring, Georgia became the 19th state to enshrine privacy protections into law for nonprofit members, donors, and volunteers when Governor Brian Kemp signed S.B. 414 into law on May 6.

S.B. 414 and its companion, H.B. 1113, received strong support during the legislative process from both sides of the aisle. H.B. 1113 was introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators and was reported favorably from committee by voice vote. It was S.B. 414, however, that ultimately moved forward, passing 33-22 in the Senate and in a robustly bipartisan 135-32 vote in the House of Representatives.

The PPPA prohibits state agencies from making unlawful demands or disclosures of personal information about Georgians who donate, join, or volunteer for nonprofit organizations. The law is a proactive measure aimed at preventing the types of privacy violations that occurred in states like California and New York in the last decade. Officials in those states and others demanded that all nonprofits report sensitive personal information about their donors to government officials for publication in a centralized, state-operated database, spurring multiple federal lawsuits.

The Supreme Court ultimately stepped in to shut down the dragnet collection of this sensitive information in 2021’s Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) v. Bonta decision. At the same time, lawmakers in other states saw what was happening and moved in bipartisan fashion to protect their constituents from similar abuses. Since 2018, 19 states have passed state-specific versions of the PPPA to strengthen and clarify their laws to protect the privacy of nonprofit members and supporters.

S.B. 414 brings Georgia law into line with the AFPF ruling and improves protections for Georgians’ personal information against doxing and other shameful forms of abuse. The law will make it easier for nonprofits of all stripes to pursue their missions without fear of harassment or retaliation against their supporters. Thanks to that tangible impact, the measure was supported by a wide range of nonprofit organizations, including People United for Privacy, Philanthropy Roundtable, Alliance Defending Freedom, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, and Frontline Policy.

Georgia is the second state to pass the PPPA in the 2024 legislative sessions, following its unanimous victory in Nebraska. Three states – Kentucky, Indiana, and Alabama – passed the law in 2023.

People United for Privacy wishes to thank and congratulate Governor Kemp, the bill’s 18 sponsors in the Senate (and six in the House), especially Senate President Pro Tempore John F. Kennedy and Representative Matt Reeves, and the many lawmakers in both parties and members of the nonprofit community who came together in support of protecting Georgians’ privacy in The Peach State.