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Lamont Signs Legislation Enacting a Comprehensive Consumer Data Privacy Law

Connecticut becomes the fifth state to enact this kind of law protecting data privacy,following similar ones recently enacted in California, Colorado, Utah, and Virginia.

Governor Ned Lamont last week announced that he has signed into law Public Act 22-15, which enacts a comprehensive series of protections for consumers that provide them with greater ability to safeguard their personal data that is collected when they interact with companies online.

Most notably, the law requires companies to publicly share a privacy policy that tells consumers what data of theirs is being collected and how that data is being used, and gives consumers an option to opt out of selling or sharing that data to others. In addition, it requires consumers under the age of 16 to provide consent to data collection. Companies will be prohibited from discriminating against consumers who choose to exercise these rights.

The law also requires companies to lessen the amount of data they collect and only use that data for the purposes they are collecting it for, therefore having less data breaches and identity theft.

Connecticut becomes the fifth state to enact this kind of law protecting data privacy, following similar ones recently enacted in California, Colorado, Utah, and Virginia. The governor explained that while he prefers that Congress enact a similar data privacy standard at the federal level, he is hopeful that this growing coalition of states adopting these protections will result in companies defaulting to these standards nationwide.

“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,” Governor Lamont said. “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.”

Connecticut’s law – which was approved in the Senate by a vote of 35 to 0 and in the House by a vote of 144 to 5 – is the result of negotiations with industry groups and merchants through working groups that were created at the direction of Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) and led by Senator James Maroney (D-Milford), co-chair of the General Law Committee.

“Watching Governor Lamont sign this bill into law is the final step in this process of strengthening online privacy for consumers in Connecticut,” Senator Duff said. “This bill will put Connecticut in an elite spot as one of the first states to protect people’s personal data.”

“Good legislation takes time to get right, and I want to thank all my colleagues, the advocates, and industry representatives as we worked together for the last three years to get this legislation right,” Senator Maroney said. “What we created provides the strongest data privacy protections for children in the country. We are protecting our children and families, giving our residents protections over their data so companies cannot indiscriminately profit off of your personal data.”

The law takes effect July 1, 2023, except for a provision related to a task force, which is effective immediately.

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