Chamber voices opposition to burdensome privacy bill in Senate hearing

Seeking to adopt a European standard for using a consumer’s data that will result in Kentucky operating as an opt-in consent state for nearly all uses of data, Senator Whitney Westerfield presented Senate Bill 15 to the Senate Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee Thursday, a piece of legislation opposed by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Kate Shanks, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the Kentucky Chamber, was among vocal opponents from four groups testifying against Senate Bill 15 Thursday, saying how California’s Consumer Privacy Act, which SB 15 goes beyond, should prove a cautionary tale for the Commonwealth.

“According to the California attorney general the initial costs of compliance are $50,000 for small businesses with fewer than 20 employees and $100,000 for businesses with up to 50 employees,” Shanks said.

She went on to say how the bill presents significant compliance challenges that will ultimately be confusing for businesses and consumers alike, specifically pointing to the opt-in provision in the bill for consumers.

Shanks also discussed the importance of balancing the needs of different consumers when it comes to privacy. Those that are concerned about their data being used should be able to simply opt out without disrupting the user experience for all with repeated opt-in requirements.

Despite Shanks’ testimony, the Senate Committee advanced Senate Bill 15 through committee Thursday.

“We will certainly continue to work with Chairman Westerfield on our concerns as this bill moves forward because this is such an important issue,” Shanks said.

Stay tuned to the Bottom Line for further updates.

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Manager of Public Affairs, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

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