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Consumers would have more control over their personal data under Senate bill

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Politics, Technology
Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne) modeled her legislation after a Virginia law on consumer data collection and usage. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Indiana consumers will have a lot more control over the way businesses keep and sell their personal information under a bill that cleared a Senate committee Thursday.

Though the measure, if it becomes law, wouldn’t take effect until 2024.

Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne) said there’s nothing wrong with companies monetizing customer data – but only if that data is aggregated, meaning you can’t link it to individual people via their name, address or email.

Under her bill, SB 358, consumers can find out from companies what data they’re keeping, correct inaccurate information in that data, tell companies they’re not allowed to sell or use that data for targeted advertising and, once a year, tell companies to delete their personal data.

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Scott Barnhart is the Consumer Protection Division director for the Indiana Attorney General’s office. He testified in favor of the measure.

“This bill attempts to strike the balance between acknowledging the existing [business] model and allowing the opportunity for consumers to opt out – to take control over data, take control over their information,” Barnhart said.

The bill is headed for the full Senate.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.