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Consumer data protection bill for Kentuckians clears the State Senate

Fruit Hill GOP Senator Whitney Westerfield explains HB 15 03-11-24
Stu Johnson
Fruit Hill GOP Senator Whitney Westerfield explains HB 15 03-11-24

Legislation aimed at lending some protection of Kentuckians’ individual data is nearing final passage in the General Assembly. It won unanimous approval Monday in the State Senate.

Western Kentucky lawmaker Whitney Westerfield began his explanation of the bill by saying, quote, “we exist online, communicate online do business online” and lots of other things. Westerfield said this kind of technology is handy and convenient.

“But I can’t, can’t, cannot stress how dangerous it is the volume of information about us that we’re sharing so freely,” said Westerfield

The House-approved legislation establishes consumer rights relating to personal data. Westerfield said his Senate version had fewer exceptions and he called this bill a step in the right direction. He urged his colleagues to not consider the issue fully addressed with this passage.

“Do not believe well we’ve done this, we’ve checked this box. We don’t need to get into it anymore. I implore you to not only not ignore this issue, but do not let the people whose very livelihood depends on data drive this boat,” said Westerfield.

Westerfield also said the measure gives citizens the right to confirm a controller, often a business, is processing information along with personal access to data. Also it gives citizens the right to correct data or have it deleted. Westerfield said it’s important for the legislature to address the issue because he worries Congress won’t act.

The bill won Senate approval 35 to zero.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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