CT Senate backs bill aimed at strengthening online protections | #datingscams | #lovescams

HARTFORD — A top priority of majority Democrats in the state Senate to protect the privacy of residents and children in the digital age won unanimous approval Thursday night and would allow the Department of Consumer Protection to issue fines of up to $25,000 for violations of online-dating rules and require ways for people to complain about harmful or unwanted behavior.

The bill, approved after 70 minutes of debate and which next moves to the state House of Representatives, would protect consumer health data, require dating apps to inform participants of common online scams, require websites and apps to “take reasonable care” to protect minors from privacy invasions and ban them from selling personal data or utilizing it to promote targeted advertising.

State Sen. James Maroney, D-Milford, co-chairman of the General Law Committee, said the legislation would build on a bill that became law last year, making Connecticut the fifth state in the country to adopt data privacy laws on health care and children. Reproductive data, gender-affirming care and mental health information would also be added to last year’s law.

“We’re making it opt-in consent for the sale or sharing of that data,” Maroney said during the floor debate. “We understand that that is intensely personal and private, and it should be protected.” The bill would also limit the access to consumer health data to organizations that submit to confidentiality requirements and would create digital secrecy zones around certain locations in a procedure called geofencing. “It also prevents the sale of consumer health data, and it prevents geofencing of both reproductive health care facilities and mental health facilities.”

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