CoPIRG comments on Colorado Privacy Act rulemaking

Coloradans need strong protections for consumer privacy, autonomy and choice when it comes to our data and online lives. Today, there are lots of manipulative and confusing tricks companies use to get "consumer consent" for data collection. The Attorney General should write rules barring these abusive practices.

An illustration of a laptop screen with a warning alert
Darwin Laganzon | Pixabay.com
Protecting your information online has never been more important.

The Colorado Attorney General is currently conducting rulemaking to finalize aspects of the Colorado Privacy Act that passed in 2021. The law gives AG authority to define technical specifications for universal opt-out mechanisms, and create more general rules for ensuring the law is carried out as intended.

CoPIRG submitted comments expressing support for the AG’s rulemaking process, and to bring attention to the important issue of consumer consent mechanisms. Today’s “notice and choice” regime for getting a consumer’s consent isn’t good enough. Sometimes just downloading an app is considered giving consent, and long, unreadable terms and conditions discourage true consumer understanding. Additionally, consumer privacy pop-ups can use confusing designs and misleading colors to trick people into giving consent they didn’t mean to give. These manipulative designs are called “dark patterns” and threaten consumer autonomy. The AG should write rules that limit companies from relying on these misleading mechanisms.

Download and view CoPIRG’s full comments in the sidebar above.

Topics
Authors

R.J. Cross

Director, Don't Sell My Data Campaign, PIRG

R.J. focuses on data privacy issues and the commercialization of personal data in the digital age. Her work ranges from consumer harms like scams and data breaches, to manipulative targeted advertising, to keeping kids safe online. In her work at Frontier Group, she has authored research reports on government transparency, consumer debt and predatory auto lending, and has testified before Congress. Her work has appeared in WIRED magazine, CBS Mornings and USA Today, among other outlets. When she’s not protecting the public interest, she is an avid reader, fiction writer and birder. Though she lives in Boston, she will always consider herself a Kansan at heart.

Danny Katz

Executive Director, CoPIRG

Danny has been the director of CoPIRG for over a decade. Danny co-authored a groundbreaking report on the state’s transit, walking and biking needs and is a co-author of the annual “State of Recycling” report. He also helped write a 2016 Denver initiative to create a public matching campaign finance program and led the early effort to eliminate predatory payday loans in Colorado. Danny serves on the Colorado Department of Transportation's (CDOT) Efficiency and Accountability Committee, CDOT's Transit and Rail Advisory Committee, RTD's Reimagine Advisory Committee, the Denver Moves Everyone Think Tank, and the I-70 Collaborative Effort. Danny lobbies federal, state and local elected officials on transportation electrification, multimodal transportation, zero waste, consumer protection and public health issues. He appears frequently in local media outlets and is active in a number of coalitions. He resides in Denver with his family, where he enjoys biking and skiing, the neighborhood food scene and raising chickens.