The Colorado Privacy Act: What You Need to Know

Online and elsewhere, Coloradans have been buzzing about the Colorado Privacy Act, which represents our state’s successful push to pass broad consumer privacy legislation and protect individuals as they share their personal data (whether intentionally or unintentionally). The Act is good news for the state, and today we take some time to walk you through its implications so that you can be aware of your rights under the Act. The Act is both long and involved, and while today’s post does not provide a review of every provision, it represents the key parts of the Act that are vital for your own privacy protection.

In the summer of 2021, the Colorado governor signed the Colorado Privacy Act into law, and it went into effect exactly two years later. Now that the Act has been in place for six months, we are starting to see its positive effects on the lives of everyday Coloradans, and we are also starting to get questions about what some of the Act’s terms mean.

In short, the Colorado Privacy Act takes steps to protect individuals’ personal data. The more we use our phones, travel, make purchases, browse the web, and log onto social media, the more of our personal data is out there and potentially at risk of being used without our consent. With the Colorado Privacy Act, we, as consumers, maintain the right to access, delete, and correct our personal data. This data includes financial data, which is often part of clients’ efforts to protect their assets and guard against creditors, lawsuits, and other financial losses.

Protecting You Against the Sale of Personal Data

Importantly, the Act allows individuals to decide that websites cannot sell their personal data for the purpose of marketing – many sites, for example, use consumers’ data to keep records on which demographics are flocking to their pages, which they can then use to create targeted advertisements with the goal of selling more products to more people. With the Colorado Privacy Act, though, individuals can opt out of the processing of their personal data for targeted advertising.

Individuals are also now able to opt out of the use of the sale of their personal data and the use of their data for profiling, which happens when companies keep information on consumers to track what they like, don’t like, and might be interested in going forward.

Protecting You Against Broad Use of Cookies

You might have noticed the Act’s protections in place if you have noticed opt out “pop ups” on websites, which give you control over whether cookies can be used. “Cookies” are pieces of data that are stored within a web browser, such as Safari, Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer. If you allow your browser to use cookies, the browser can then retrieve the cookies at a later time to (again) tailor advertisements to you or profile you as a consumer.

Protecting You Against Entities’ Access to Sensitive Data

The Act also requires companies to obtain opt-in consent before processing certain types of sensitive data, such as: children’s information, genetic and biometric data, racial and religious beliefs, a mental or physical condition, sex life, sexual orientation, and citizen status. This is good news for parents who worry that their children’s information might be used or compromised against their consent, and it highlights the importance of monitoring your children’s online activity as they increase their digital footprint over time.

Protecting You through Data Protection Assessments

The Act includes a provision that mandates that companies must conduct regular data protection assessments. This kind of assessment helps companies manage the privacy risks that arise from their interactions with other companies and individuals online. If you are not aware of your employer’s efforts to keep your data safe, you have every right to ask about what is being done to identify and manage specific privacy risks.

Enforcement: How Does it Work?

Importantly, each Colorado Privacy Act violation is punishable by up to $20,000 and is enforced by Colorado’s attorney general. If the attorney general becomes aware of a violation, the attorney is required to issue a “notice of violation” and allow companies to fix the privacy issue within 60 days. After those 60 days pass, however, companies could be at serious risk of having to pay for their failure to comply with the terms of the Act.

The Act is, overall, a major step forward for the state of Colorado. Colorado is the third state in the United States to pass this kind of legislation, following California and Virginia. While the novelty of the Act leaves several questions about how well it will work, how strictly it will be enforced, and how easily individuals will be able to use it for their advantage, the beginning phases of the Act’s implementation have been positive.

To fully understand how the Act works and how it might affect you, we recommend that you contact an attorney that can advise you from a professional standpoint. As you think through your long-term plans, you should consider how to keep your information private so that your assets can be well-protected as you move forward. Most importantly, however, you should know your rights under Colorado law, and you should take action if you believe your rights might have been violated at any point.

Speak With a Boulder, Colorado Estate Planning Attorney Today

If you have questions about your rights and remedies under the Colorado Privacy Act, contact the Braverman Law Group today. Our Boulder, Colorado estate planning lawyers are committed to providing individualized services, holistic representation, and powerful execution of experience-based legal strategies. Our practice areas include estate planning, trust administration, special needs planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection, and we serve clients throughout Colorado’s Front Range.

For a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys, give us a call today at (303) 800-1588. If you prefer, you can also fill out our online form to tell us about your legal issue and have an attorney reach back out to you as soon as possible.



Justia Lawyer Rating
Super Lawyers
Colorado Bar Association
Wealth Counsel
Boulder County Bar Association
Contact Information