On May 10, 2022, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed An Act Concerning Personal Data Privacy and Online Monitoring, after the law was previously passed by the Connecticut General Assembly in April. Connecticut is now the fifth state to enact a consumer privacy law.
Upon taking effect on July 1, 2023, the law, also known as the Connecticut Data Privacy Act (“CTDPA”), will apply to individuals and entities that (1) conduct business in Connecticut, or produce products or services that are targeted to Connecticut residents; and (2) during the preceding calendar year, either (a) controlled or processed the personal data of at least 100,000 consumers (excluding for the purpose of completing a payment transaction), or (b) controlled or processed the personal data of at least 25,000 consumers and derived more than 25% of their gross revenue from the sale of personal data. The CTDPA exempts certain entities, including, for example, state and local government entities, nonprofits, higher education institutions, financial institutions subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLB”), and qualifying covered entities and business associates subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”).
The CTDPA’s protections apply only to Connecticut residents acting in an individual capacity (i.e., “consumers”), and do not apply to individuals acting in an employment or commercial (B2B) context. Under the CTDPA, consumers will have the right to:
- confirm whether or not a controller is processing the consumer’s personal data and access such personal data;
- correct inaccuracies in the consumer’s personal data;
- delete personal data provided by, or obtained about, the consumer;
- obtain a copy of the consumer’s personal data processed by a controller, in a portable and, to the extent technically feasible, readily usable format; and
- opt out of the processing of their personal data for purposes of (1) targeted advertising, (2) the sale of personal data, or (3) profiling in furtherance of solely automated decisions that produce legal or similarly significant effects concerning the consumer.
Among other obligations, controllers will be required to:
- limit the collection of personal data to “what is adequate, relevant and reasonably necessary” to the purposes for processing, as disclosed to the consumer;
- process personal data only for purposes that are reasonably necessary to and compatible with the purposes for processing, as disclosed to the consumer (unless the controller obtains the consumer’s consent);
- establish, implement and maintain reasonable administrative, technical and physical data security practices;
- not process sensitive data concerning a consumer without obtaining the consumer’s consent;
- not process personal data in violation of federal and state antidiscrimination laws;
- provide an effective mechanism for a consumer to revoke consent and cease processing the data within 15 days of receiving a revocation request; and
- not process personal data of a consumer for purposes of targeted advertising, or sell the consumer’s personal data without the consumer’s consent, where a controller has actual knowledge and willfully disregards that a consumer is 13-15 years old.
The CTDPA shares many similarities with the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CPRA”), Colorado Privacy Act (“CPA”), Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (“VCDPA”) and Utah Consumer Privacy Act (“UCPA”). It incorporates the CPA’s and CPRA’s broad definition of “sale,” which includes exchanges of personal data for monetary or “other valuable consideration.” Beginning January 1, 2025, the CTDPA also will follow the CPA’s example in requiring controllers to recognize opt-out preference signals sent via a universal opt-out mechanism. The CTDPA aligns with the CPRA in not requiring the authentication of opt-out requests. Like the CPA and CPRA, the CTDPA prohibits the use of dark patterns to obtain consent.
In line with the CPA and VCDPA, the CTDPA requires controllers to obtain parental consent for the collection of personal data from a known child (i.e., children under 13 years old). The CTDPA also joins the CPRA, VCDPA and CPA in requiring controllers to conduct data protection assessments prior to engaging in data processing activities that present a heightened risk of harm to consumers. Although the CTDPA will initially provide controllers a right to cure violations, the right to cure will end on December 31, 2024. As with most of the existing U.S. state privacy laws, the CTDPA does not provide for a private right of action. The law will be enforced by the Connecticut Attorney General.