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Colorado Enacts First Law to Protect Consumer Brainwave Data

 |  April 18, 2024

Colorado has become the first state in the United States to enact legislation aimed at protecting the privacy of brainwave data. Governor Jared Polis signed the bill into law on April 18, 2024, marking a significant step forward in the field of data privacy and neurotechnology.

As reported by Reuters, the new law addresses growing concerns over the potential misuse of brainwave data collected by neurotechnology devices. These devices, which can range from medical equipment to consumer wearables, have the capability to gather detailed and personal information directly from an individual’s brain activity.

The legislation was prompted by advancements in neurotechnology that have outpaced existing privacy protections. According to The New York Times, experts have raised alarms over the lack of regulations governing the collection, storage, and use of brainwave data. This has led to fears that without proper safeguards, individuals’ thoughts and mental states could be exploited for commercial gain or other purposes without their consent.

Under the new law, companies operating in Colorado are required to obtain explicit consent from individuals before collecting, storing, or using their brainwave data. Additionally, the legislation mandates that companies must ensure the security of the data and provide clear information to consumers about how their information will be used.

State senator Kevin Priola, another of the bill’s sponsors, said that neurotechnology “is no longer confined to medical or research settings” and that when it comes to consumer products, the industry “can currently operate without regulation, data protection standards, or equivalent ethical constraints.”

This legislation has been met with praise from privacy advocates and researchers, who see it as an essential step in protecting individuals’ mental privacy. However, some industry stakeholders have expressed concerns about the potential impact on innovation and the development of neurotechnology applications.

Source: Reuters