Colorado closer to becoming third state to strengthen data privacy and transparency laws

Colorado is closer to becoming the third state in the nation to pass a data privacy law, which would go into effect in 2023 if Gov. Jared Polis signs the legislation.

SB21-190 got the final stamp of approval Tuesday, what appeared to be the final day of the Colorado legislative session. The bill would allow consumers to opt out of online data collection, and companies would have to make clear what data they collect from online visitors, what they do with the data and how long they store it.

By 2024, Coloradans would be able to opt out of data collection on all websites by using a “global privacy control” browser setting.

The bipartisan measure received overwhelming support in both chambers, though a few lawmakers who voted against it worried it was rushed.

Colorado’s lawmakers will continue working with the tech industry, including Facebook, to fine-tune the regulations as other states have done before the law goes into effect, said bill sponsor Rep. Monica Duran, a Wheat Ridge Democrat.

“For consumers, it’s going to give them a voice and a say in how they want their information shared,” Duran said. “If they want to sign up for a rewards program, then they’re going to realize their information is going to be shared. If they don’t want it, they can opt out.”

The bill would also prevent companies from offering discounts on services only to people who share their data. GOP Rep. Shane Sandridge of Colorado Springs opposes that part of the measure, saying in theory the concept is good but the bill needs more work before its ready for primetime.

“If you’re selling a product, I should be able to sell my data to you for a cheaper price,” Sandridge said. “And I don’t think the government should come in and say you can’t.”

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