FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 4, 2022
Senate Bill 944 Passes the Senate Floor, Fights Against Organized Retail Crime Rings Misusing Online Marketplaces to Sell Stolen Goods
Tallahassee, FL – Senate Bill 944, Online Marketplace Transparency, by Senator Dennis Baxley passed the Florida Senate floor on Thursday in a 38-1 vote.
SB 944 implements verification requirements on online marketplaces in Florida to protect consumers from the online sale of fraudulent or stolen goods. Online platforms have been misused by organized crime rings to anonymously sell stolen merchandise and illicit goods to unsuspecting consumers.
"Thank you, Senator Baxley, for your leadership and commitment to protecting Florida consumers and businesses," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "Strengthening transparency measures will not only inform and protect Florida consumers while shopping online, it will also support Florida businesses. Florida retailers who have suffered as a result of the misuse of online marketplace platforms at the hands of organized retail crime rings will receive much-needed relief from this legislation."
The bill seeks to aid consumers requiring the verification of third-party sellers on online marketplaces to help ensure the safe purchase of goods. If passed into Florida statute, the consumer will have a direct line of communication to either the seller or the online marketplace.
The legislation also incorporates data privacy and security measures to protect seller information once the verification process is complete.
Senate Bill 944 will be sent to the Florida House floor in messages.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.