Delaware Personal Data Privacy Act: An Overview


The march of new state privacy legislation continues as Delaware has now passed the country’s 13th comprehensive privacy law. 

While many of these laws share similar features, no two of them are exactly alike, making compliance an increasingly complicated endeavor. The Delaware Personal Data Privacy Act continues the overall trend of taking inspiration from Virginia’s law, but also has a few distinguishing features of its own.

Here are the essential details that businesses and other organizations should know about the DPDPA.

When Does It Go Into Effect?

The Delaware Personal Data Privacy Act will go into effect on January 1, 2025.

Who Does It Apply To?

The DPDPA applies to any person or organization that does business in the state of Delaware, or targets its products or services toward state residents, and meets at least one of the following requirements:

  • Controls or processes the personal data of at least 35,000 state residents per year, OR
  • Controls or processes the personal data of at least 10,000 state residents per year AND derives 20% or more of gross revenue from the sale of personal data.

The thresholds here are notable for being significantly lower than other states, though this is probably due to Delaware’s smaller population in comparison with larger states like California or Virginia. 

While the DPDPA does have many of the same exemptions as other laws, including for government bodies and personal data already regulated by federal laws such as the GLBA or HIPAA, nonprofit organizations are not exempt from DPDPA compliance. (The one exception to this is for nonprofits that are “dedicated exclusively to preventing and addressing insurance crime.”)  This is unusual but not unheard of, as Colorado and Oregon’s privacy laws also apply to nonprofits.

What Rights Do Consumers Have Under the DPDPA?

Delaware’s privacy law gives consumers the following rights.

  • Right to Know - Consumers have the right to confirm whether a business is processing their personal data and, if so, to access that data.
  • Right to Correct - Consumers can request that a business correct any inaccurate personal information it holds about a consumer.
  • Right to Delete - Upon request, businesses must delete personal data provided by or obtained about the consumer.
  • Right to Portability - Upon request, businesses must provide a copy of the consumer’s personal data in a readily portable format so that it can be transmitted to another controller, if that data is processed by automated means.
  • Right to Opt Out - Consumers can opt out of:
    • The sale of their personal data
    • Targeted advertising
    • Profiling in furtherance of automated decisions that produce legal or similarly significant effects

The DPDPA also gives consumers the right to “obtain a list of the categories of third parties to which the controller has disclosed the consumer’s personal data.” However, this information already must be included in an organization’s privacy notices, so it’s not clear that this actually gives rise to a new type of privacy request.

What Is “Personal Data”?

The DPDPA defines “personal data” in a way that more or less identical to other state privacy laws, i.e. any information “that is linked or reasonably linkable to an identified or identifiable individual.” Deidentified data or publicly available information is excluded from this definition.

Personal data is more than just names and email addresses, though, and can cover anything from IP addresses to internet cookies to shopping habits. 

Are Data Protection Assessments Required?

The Delaware Personal Data Privacy Act requires organizations to perform data protection assessments for certain types of processing activities, but only if that organization processes the personal data of at least 100,000 Delaware residents. In those cases, a data protection assessment is required for:

  • Targeted advertising
  • Sale of personal data
  • Profiling of consumers, where it presents a foreseeable risk of harm
  • Processing of sensitive personal data
  • Any other processing activity presents a heightened risk of harm to consumers

How Much Do Violations Cost?

The DPDPA itself does not identify a specific dollar amount for fines. Instead, it states that a violation shall be considered an unlawful practice under Delaware’s consumer protection laws, which are punishable by penalties of up to $10,000 per willful violation.

Can Businesses Be Sued by Consumers?

The Delaware Personal Data Privacy Act Act does not grant a private right of action to consumers, meaning they cannot sue an organization over alleged violations.

Cross-Country Privacy Compliance

The pace of state privacy legislation is picking up, with many more states likely to pass their own laws in the near future. With each new law, compliance becomes a little more complicated to manage, especially for businesses without in-house privacy experts.

TrueVault US helps businesses of all sizes get compliant with privacy laws from across the country with one streamlined platform. Built by attorneys, TrueVault US is a software solution that guides you at every step of the way, from onboarding vendors to responding to consumer privacy requests.

To learn more about how TrueVault US can help your business, contact our team today.

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