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Consumer Reports calls on Kentucky Governor Beshear to veto flawed privacy bill

Frankfort, KY Consumer Reports urges Governor Andy Beshearto veto H.B. 15, a weak consumer data privacy bill that passed the Kentucky General Assembly today despite objections from consumer advocates. 

The bill includes some basic consumer rights, such as the right to know the information companies have collected about them, the right to delete certain information, and the right to limit some data disclosures. However, those rights are undercut by weak definitions of sale and targeted advertising, wide exemptions for pseudonymous information, no universal opt out or authorized agent provisions, and insufficient enforcement mechanisms. The bill also allows companies to discriminate against consumers who exercise their right to opt out by denying service or charging extra. 

“It is very disappointing to see Kentucky bypass stronger privacy legislation that had been considered in the state for years in favor of this industry bill,” said Matt Schwartz, policy analyst at Consumer Reports. “This bill claims to be a consumer privacy measure, but it really only codifies the status quo preferred by large tech companies. It offloads all the responsibility for privacy protection onto the individual with almost no new substantive limitations on how companies collect or process data. We urge Governor Beshear to veto the bill.”

If the Governor signs H.B. 15 into law, Kentucky will become the 15th state to enact a comprehensive privacy law.