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House Passes Delaware Personal Privacy Data Act

Recognizing the need to protect the privacy and security of personal data in the digital age, the House passed legislation Thursday that would establish data privacy rights for consumers and enhance regulations governing the use of personal online data by businesses. The vote was 33-5-1-2, with the five no votes coming from Republicans.

Sponsored by Rep. Krista GriffithHouse Bill 154, also known as the Delaware Personal Data Privacy Act, would create a comprehensive framework of consumer protections, granting individuals greater control over their personal data collection and creating more transparency about how that data is used.

The Delaware Personal Data Privacy Act would affect companies that operate in Delaware and handle the personal information of more than 35,000 consumers or more than 10,000 consumers if they make more than 20% of their total revenue by selling personal information.

Currently, the average resident has no realistic way to track or control how their data is collected, used, or sold. HB 154 would grant Delawareans numerous data privacy protections, including:

  • The right to know whether a company is collecting and using their personal data and the ability to request access to that data, except in cases where it would reveal the company’s trade secrets.
  • The right to request a company make corrections for any mistakes or inaccuracies in their personal data.
  • The right to request the deletion of any personal data that the company has collected or obtained about them.
  • The right to obtain a copy of the personal data that the company has processed in a format that is portable and easy to use.
  • The right to opt out of certain uses of their personal data, including targeted advertising and the sale of their personal data, with some exceptions.

Companies or organizations that collect and process personal data, called controllers, would have certain responsibilities to protect consumers.

Under HB 154, controllers would be required to establish and maintain reasonable measures to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data and must obtain the consumer’s consent before processing sensitive data.

Controllers would also be responsible for providing consumers with a clear and easily accessible privacy notice that includes information about the types of personal data they collect, the purposes of data processing, how consumers can exercise their rights, and the categories of personal data shared with third parties.

If a controller sells personal data or processes it for targeted advertising, they would be required to clearly disclose this information and explain how consumers can opt out of such processing. Ten states, including Connecticut, have enacted comprehensive data privacy laws.

The bill also includes protections for children. Under HB 154, a controller would be prohibited from processing sensitive data of a child under the age of 13 unless they obtain consent from the child’s parent or legal guardian. Additionally, controllers would be obligated to obtain consent before using personal data for targeted advertising or selling the data if the consumer is between the ages of 13 and 18. 

To ensure that consumers and businesses understand the data privacy changes, HB 154 would require the Delaware Department of Justice to engage in public outreach to educate consumers and the business community beginning at least six months prior to the effective date of the law.

The Delaware Personal Data Privacy Act would take effect on January 1, 2025 if enacted before January 1, 2024. 

HB 154 now heads to the Senate for consideration.

House Bill 154 – Delaware Personal Data Privacy ActCurrrent Status – House Passed 33-5-1-2. Sent to the Senate
House SponsorsGriffith, Baumbach, Dorsey Walker, Harris, Johnson, Lambert, Longhurst, Neal, Phillips, Romer, Chuckwuocha, Heffernan, Minor-Brown, Morrison, Osienski, Parker-Selby, Williams, Wilson-Anton // Briggs KingSenate SponsorsTownsend, Gay, Hansen, Hoffner, Sokola, Sturgeon
House Yes VotesBaumbach Bolden Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Harris Heffernan Johnson Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Morrison Neal Osienski Parker-Selby Phillips Romer Schwartzkopf Williams Wilson-Anton // Briggs King Dukes Gray Hensley Short Smith Spiegelman Vanderwende Senate Yes Votes
House No VotesCollins, Hilovsky, Postles, Shupe, YearickSenate No Votes
House Absents or Not Voting – Absent: Morris, Moore. Not Voting: RamoneSenate Absent or Not Voting

“The Delaware Personal Data Privacy Act is a critical step in safeguarding the privacy rights of Delawareans in our digital age. With the increasing collection and use of our sensitive personal data, it’s so important that we establish comprehensive rights for consumers and ensure that they have avenues to take control over their personal information,” said Rep. Griffith.

“I want to thank my colleagues in the House for passing this important piece of legislation, which will give Delawareans more control and transparency over their personal data.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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