Whenever we log onto our computers or open our phones, we could be sharing information with businesses. Connecticut lawmakers are taking a hard look at how much we should know about how our personal data is being used and shared.
“It could result in a reduction in the number and the variety of customer loyalty programs offered to Connecticut consumers. We don’t believe this is a good public policy and it’s not what consumers expect from our industry,” Tim Phelan, president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association, said.
Phelan said these loyalty programs help them maintain a relationship with their customers and the legislation puts that into jeopardy.
“Consumers will also have the choice to allow their data to be used and sold if there’s a particular site that they want to do so,” Maureen Mahoney of Consumer Reports said.
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Mahoney said there’s an exception for loyalty programs in the legislation.
“Loyalty programs that reward continued patronage wouldn’t be affected by this global call, even based on an opt-out,” Mahoney said.
Democratic senators have made it one of their top issues this year.
“To know what data is being collected about you, the right to access that data that has been collected about you, correct it if you see anything wrong, the right to delete the data that's been collected about you, the right to export the data that’s been collected about you,” Sen. James Maroney, D-Milford, said.
President Joe Biden targeted social media companies during his State of the Union address Tuesday, accusing them of experimenting on children for profit.
“It’s time to strengthen privacy protections, ban targeted advertising to children, demand tech companies stop collecting personal data on our children,” Biden said.
Connecticut is one of 20 states debating similar legislation this year.