James Maroney

STATE SENATOR

James Maroney

DEPUTY MAJORITY LEADER

AN INDEPENDENT VOICE

April 20, 2022

Senator James Maroney Leads Passage of Data Privacy Bill


Today, state Senator James Maroney (D-Milford), Chair of the General Law Committee, led passage of Senate Bill 6, An Act Concerning Personal Data Privacy And Online Monitoring. This bill will help to protect consumers online in Connecticut. In 2021, Senator Maroney and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) worked together on establishing a consumer data bill of rights that would protect Connecticut residents’ online privacy. The bill received favorable votes in three committees and the Senate but did not receive a vote in the House.

“I am honored to have been able to work with advocates, analysts from the data privacy industry, and my fellow senators and representatives to help craft a bill that protects our residents online,” said Sen. Maroney. “This piece of legislation provides some of the strongest privacy protections for children in the country, while not overly burdening small businesses. In our connected world, almost all of our movements can be tracked. This will give us the right to know what is being tracked about us and the ability to opt out of the sale of our personal data.”

“I would like to thank Senator Looney for making this bill a part of the Senate Democratic agenda this year and Senator Maroney for leading passage of a bill I first began working on in 2017,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff. “Together we are one step closer to strengthening online privacy for consumers. This bill will put Connecticut in an elite spot as one of the first states to protect people’s personal data.”

“The use of data online has transformed into a billion-dollar industry that leverages people’s personal information for profit,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). “This bill will enshrine guidelines and rules to better protect the privacy of Connecticut residents online. Today continues Connecticut’s commitment to consumer protection and vigilance against predatory practices.”

“We applaud Connecticut lawmakers for advancing SB 6, to protect the privacy of Connecticut consumers online,” said Maureen Mahoney, Senior Policy Analyst, Consumer Reports. “The collection and monetization of Connecticut consumers’ personal data has dramatically expanded over the last thirty years, but consumers have almost no say over whether their information will be shared by a company with countless others. This bill helps correct the power imbalance, by giving consumers key rights to access, delete, and stop the sale of their information – and includes crucial provisions to ensure that consumers can easily exercise their preferences.”

“There can be no doubt that the passage of SB6 is due to the hard work of Senator Maroney, who spent months building consensus and working with various stakeholders to resolve difficult issues,” said David Stauss, Co-Chair of Data Privacy and Cybersecurity at Husch Blackwell. “Once it goes into effect, SB6 will provide Connecticut residents with substantial privacy rights enjoyed by only a handful of US citizens.”

“According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2021 monetary losses as a result of frauds and scams were up 59% in Connecticut from the year before, for a total of nearly $41 million,” said Nora Duncan, AARP CT State Director. “Identity theft and imposter scams were the top two frauds reported nationwide. This legislation provides consumer choice and control of personal data, privacy by design, and transparency and accountability for the companies that hold and process personal data. Over time, these measures will help flip the script on the criminal element using personal data to defraud people of all ages in Connecticut.”

This bill establishes a framework for controlling and processing personal data, and establishes responsibilities and privacy protection standards for data controllers and processors. It also grants consumers the right to access, correct, delete and obtain a copy of personal data, and opt out of the processing of personal data for the purposes.

In February 2021, Sen. Maroney introduced Senate Bill 893, “An Act Concerning Consumer Privacy,” which would have created a consumer data bill of rights and required big-tech companies to clearly state what data is being collected, how it’s being used, and why – and consumers would have the right to see that data, fix any errors in it, or delete it all.

Under this data privacy bill, companies will be required to clearly cite a privacy policy telling consumers what data is being collected, how it is being used, and why. This way, consumers are aware and have the right of knowing what information is being collected from them, the ability to see and fix any false data that is collected from them, and the right to have any collected data be deleted.

The bill will also prohibit companies from discriminating against those who choose to exercise these rights. This bill will provide protection over user information, thus preventing companies from abusing their data. It will require companies to lessen the amount of data they collect and only use it for the purposes they are collected it for; therefore having less data breaches and identity theft.

Currently, children’s online privacy protection imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age. This data privacy bill also raises the children’s online privacy protection rule to children under 16 years of age. It also matches California’s laws for the strongest protections for children online.

The legislation will ensure transparency within companies and consumers, therefore guaranteeing that consumers know just how much of their information is being collected and are given the right to control what is done with that data.