Consumer Reports supports, if it is amended, Rhode Island H.B. 5745, consumer privacy legislation. H.B. 5745 would extend to Rhode Island consumers important new protections, including the right to know the information companies have collected about them, the right to access, correct, and delete that information, as well as the ability to require businesses to honor authorized agents’ browser privacy signals as an opt out of sale, targeted advertising, and profiling.
However, the legislation still contains significant loopholes that would hinder its overall effectiveness. We offer several suggestions to strengthen the bill to provide the level of protection that Rhode Islanders deserve. Our suggestions include:
- Broadening opt-out rights to include all data sharing and ensuring targeted advertising is adequately covered.
- Tightening the definition and interpretation of bona fide loyalty programs to eliminate loopholes.
- Limiting authentication requirements to request to access, correct, and delete.
- Applying authorized agent provisions to rights to access, correct, and delete.
- Removing ambiguities around requirements that the universal opt out mechanism not “unfairly disadvantage” other controllers.
- Amending prohibitions on default opt-outs.
- Clarifying that approximating geolocation by IP address is sufficient residency authentication.
- Removing the right to cure from the Attorney General enforcement section.
- Including strong civil rights protections.
For the full letter, please see the attached PDF.