by Brent Addleman
Greater safeguards to personal data are the focus of legislation that has now become law in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont said.
The governor announced Public Act 22-15 has been signed. The legislation creates a comprehensive set of protections designed to help consumers by creating a stronger ability to safeguard personal data that is collected with online businesses.
“Digital commerce is now a way of life for nearly all of us, and every time we stream a television show or movie online, every time we go for a walk while wearing a fitness tracking device, and every time we purchase something from our favorite website, our actions are being logged and frequently sold and shared with others,” Lamont said in the release. “Consumers have a right to know what information of theirs is being collected, have the ability to correct any false data that is collected, and have the right to delete that data if they don’t want it collected. I am glad that Connecticut has joined this growing coalition of states taking action to protect consumers’ privacy. Its time has come.”
The new law, according to the release, mandates that companies are to publicly share privacy policies that inform consumers of what data is being collected, how it will be used, and also providing for consumers to opt out of having their data shared or sold to others. Those consumers under the age of 16 will have to provide consent and companies are prevented from discriminating against those who exercise their rights.
According to the release, Connecticut is now the fifth state to have such a law on the books, following California, Colorado, Utah, and Virginia. Lamont said he preferred Congress to pass privacy standards at the federal level, but is “hopeful that this growing coalition of states” that are enacting privacy standards “will result in companies defaulting to these standards nationwide.”
The new law, according to the release, passed the Senate with a 35-0 vote and the House 144-5. It came about from negotiation sessions with industry groups and businesses that were created by Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, and led by Sen. James Maroney, D-Milford.
“Watching Governor Lamont sign this bill into law is the final step in this process of strengthening online privacy for consumers in Connecticut,” Duff said in the release. “This bill will put Connecticut in an elite spot as one of the first states to protect people’s personal data.”
According to the release, the law takes effect July 1, 2023. A task force will be created with the bill’s signing.
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Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.
Photo “Ned Lamont” by Ned Lamont.