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Colorado Privacy ActThe Colorado Privacy Act: Explained

The Colorado Privacy Act: Explained

On July 8th, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 190, the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA), into law. The Act is the third comprehensive state privacy law in the United States, following California’s Consumer Privacy Act and Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act.

The CPA is applicable to businesses that collect and store data on more than 100,000 individuals or those earning revenue from the data of more than 25,000 consumers. The bill also includes various data subject rights, a broad opt-out consent model with a universal opt-out mechanism, a right to cure, and attorney general rulemaking and enforcement. It is set to go into effect on July 1, 2023.

The CPA carries specific rights for the consumer including:

  • Opt-out of processing of personal data.
  • Authorization of another person to act on behalf of the consumer to opt-out of the processing of personal data for purposes of targeted advertising or the sale of consumer data.
  • Confirm whether personal data is being processed and access that data in a portable and readily usable format.
  • Correct inaccurate personal data.
  • Delete personal data.
  • Obtain consent before collection of certain sensitive personal data (data that reveals race or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, a mental or physical health condition or diagnosis, sexual orientation or sex life, citizenship or citizenship status, or genetic or biometric data).

The right to opt-out model gives consumers a user-selected universal opt-out mechanism for executing their opt-out right, however, it applies to targeted advertising and the sale of information. Consumers cannot opt out of unnecessary and irrelevant collection of information.  Controllers must comply with the universal opt-out. Consumer requests must be verifiable, and a controller may deny the request if the request cannot be authenticated.

All consumers are provided the opportunity to appeal any denials of request. Under the act, all controllers are required to respond to a consumer’s request to exercise their rights within 45 days of receiving the request. The time period may be extended an additional 45 days with a notice of delay and reasons for the delay.

The controllers must receive a consumer’s consent before processing a consumer’s sensitive information. Consent must be a clear, affirmative act signifying a consumer’s freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous consent. Consent cannot be obtained by way of acceptance of general or broad terms of use. While the CPA requires consent to process “sensitive” personal data, the bill exempts protected health information and de-identified information under HIPAA, financial institutions and nonpublic personal information under the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, information regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and information regulated by the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994. The CPA also exempts information maintained for employment records purposes.

Under the CPA, controllers are also required to conduct and document data protection assessments of each of its processing activities that involves personal data acquired when conducting processing that presents a heightened risk of harm to a consumer.

Controllers must provide a privacy notice to the consumer including:

  • Categories of personal data collected, processed, and/or shared with third parties,
  • Purposes for processing such data,
  • Categories of third parties with whom the controller shares personal data,
  • How and where consumers may exercise their rights, and
  • Whether the controller sells personal data or processes personal data for targeted advertising.

Data security practices must be appropriate to the volume, scope, and nature of the personal data processes and nature of the business. While the CPA carries these consumer rights and provides for several controller obligations, it does not offer a private right of action.

The Attorney General has the capability to address outstanding compliance concerns and ambiguities ahead of the law’s effective date. The Attorney General and state district attorneys will enforce the CPA. Under the bill, there is a 60-day cure period to rectify non-compliance provided before the Attorney General or district attorney may take enforcement action. The cure period is only provided until January 1, 2025, and noncompliance can result in civil penalties of not more than $2,000 per violation, not to exceed $500,000 in total for any related series of violations. Again, consumers are not given the private right of action under the bill.

We anticipate more states will begin to enact legislation that will encourage the regulation of sensitive data processing and enhance consumer privacy rights. Beckage will continue to monitor any developments regarding the bill. Our team of highly skilled attorneys are especially equipped to help your business implement a proactive plan to help mitigate risk and remain compliant with emerging laws.

*Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. *

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