Colorado will make it easier for consumers to protect their personal data online beginning in July 2023.
Gov. Jared Polis signed SB21-190 into law Wednesday. The data privacy bill will allow people to opt out of data collection on websites and require companies to make clear three things: what data they collect, what they do with the data and how long they keep it. There are some exceptions for financial institutions, and regulations will differ depending on the size of the company.
The bipartisan bill received large support in both chambers of the Legislature this year, and Colorado is now the third state to have passed a comprehensive data privacy law alongside Virginia and California. A few business groups worried about the cost to implement different states’ policies, while privacy advocates argued Colorado’s law doesn’t go far enough.
Although other states have taken up the issue, passing the laws has proven more difficult, said Democratic Sen. Robert Rodriguez of Denver, one of the bill sponsors.
“This is going to give people rights that they’ve never ever had before,” Rodriguez said. He added that while most people agree there should be federal standards, “sitting around waiting is not enough and I think we’re at the forefront of setting goals and parameters of how this stuff needs to work.”
Republican bill sponsor Sen. Paul Lundeen of Monument said Colorado’s law strikes a balance between consumer protection and allowing for businesses to use data they need to operate.
The law goes into effect July 1, 2023. In July 2024, consumers will have an easier way to opt out: a global privacy control browser setting that’ll work on all websites they visit instead of having to do so on individual sites.
“People are becoming more and more aware of how much of themselves they make visible through the data trail they create,” Lundeen said. “As they become one, aware of that, and two, aware of their ability to provide some degree of protection by opting out or managing of their own information, they’ll be able to use those tools.”
Lundeen added the law will make it easier for people to figure out how to “disentangle from some of those relationships that they may not want to be involved in.”
Users will be able to access, correct and delete personal data that companies have stored.
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