First law protecting consumers’ brainwaves signed by Colorado governor; Paul Coble, intellectual property & artificial intelligence department chair at Rose Law Group, welcomes such measures

By Brad Brooks | REUTERS

Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Wednesday signed into law the first measure passed in the U.S. that aims to protect the data found in a person’s brainwaves.

Sponsors of the bill said it was necessary as quick advances in neurotechnology make scanning, analyzing and selling mental data increasingly more possible — and profitable.

State representative Cathy Kipp, a sponsor of the legislation, said in a statement that while advancements in the neurotechnology field hold great promise for improving the lives of many people, “we must provide a clear framework to protect Coloradans’ personal data from being used without their consent while still allowing these new technologies to develop.”

State senator Kevin Priola, another of the bill’s sponsors, said that neurotechnology “is no longer confined to medical or research settings” and that when it comes to consumer products, the industry “can currently operate without regulation, data protection standards, or equivalent ethical constraints.”

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“First it was fingerprints, then DNA and retinal scans.  New technologies are constantly creating new types of personal biometric data—and new privacy concerns to go with them.  It is critical that we do not allow technology to outpace our legal protections for individual privacy rights.  Congress should follow Colorado’s lead and enact privacy protections for the 21st century.”
– Paul Coble, intellectual property & artificial intelligence department chair at Rose Law Group

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