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May 6, 2024

Concord Privacy News: 5/6/24

Federal data privacy legislation introduced; all the ways your cellphone carrier tracks you and how to stop it; Colorado protects neural data privacy with new law

Federal Data Privacy Legislation Introduced

Following a number of unsuccessful attempts to enact legislation over many years, a preliminary version of a federal data privacy law has recently emerged. On April 7, 2024, the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce unveiled the American Privacy Rights Act.

This comprehensive draft legislation sets clear, national data privacy rights and protections for Americans, eliminates the existing patchwork of state comprehensive data privacy laws, and gives Americans the ability to enforce their privacy rights when their rights are violated. In particular, the Act does the following:

  • Establishes Foundational Uniform National Data Privacy Rights for Americans, including putting people in control of their own personal data; minimizing the data that companies can collect and use about people; requiring companies to let people access, correct, delete and export their data; and allowing individuals to opt out of targeted advertising.
  • Gives Americans the Ability to Enforce Their Data Privacy Rights by giving individuals the right to sue bad actors who violate their privacy rights—and recover money for damages when they’ve been harmed; and by preventing companies from enforcing mandatory arbitration in cases of substantial privacy harm.
  • Protects Americans’ Civil Rights by stopping companies from using people’s personal information to discriminate against them and allowing individuals to opt out of a company’s use of algorithms to make decisions about housing, employment, healthcare, credit opportunities, education, insurance or access to places of public accommodation.
  • Holds Companies Accountable and Establishes Strong Data Security Obligations, including mandating security standards that will prevent data from being hacked or stolen and authorizing the Federal Trade Commission, states, and consumers to enforce against violations.
  • Focuses on the Business of Data, Not Mainstreet Business -sSmall businesses, who are not selling their customers’ personal information, are exempt from the requirements of the bill.

Concord will be tracking this legislation and will bring you the latest updates as they are available.

Other Privacy News of Note

All the Ways Your Cellphone Carrier Tracks You and How to Stop It

Data tracking in 2024 seems inevitable. Whether you're using an iPhone or Android phone, your carrier is likely gathering all sorts of data about how, where and when you use your cellphone. This month T-Mobile quietly began rolling out a new tracking method called "profiling and automated decisions," which is enabled by default. While the company says it isn't using information gleaned from such tracking today, it could be used later on for "future decisions that produce legal or similarly significant effects about you." Read more.

Colorado Protects Neural Data Privacy with New Law

Under a new law signed by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, the state has become the first to offer privacy protections for neural data, data created by the measurement of brain or spinal activity. The new law expands the definition of “sensitive data” protected under the Colorado Privacy Act to include biological data such as neural data. Read more.