DES MOINES, Iowa — As the world continues moving online, many people don’t realize how much information they leave behind. Their data is out there, from keystrokes to things they Googled. It’s become a concern for Iowa lawmakers. On March 28, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law creating data privacy rules for Iowans.
Iowa became the sixth state to pass a data privacy law. It doesn’t go into effect until 2025 but it’ll finally give Iowans more rights as they search the web.
State Rep. Ray Sorensen (R), District 23 from Greenfield, helped guide the legislation through the Iowa House of Representatives.
He said it does three major things. For the first time, crucial turns surrounding data will be defined in Iowa law. It also establishes data rights and tells the data’s control, the app or website someone’s using, what they need to do to make it available to the consumer. People will be allowed to see, edit or delete their data. If the controller doesn’t honor the consumer’s wishes, the Iowa Attorney General can sue them.
“We don’t always realize what we’re forfeiting when we download these apps or what we’re giving as data with these apps,” Sorensen said. “Now we at least have a first step in how do we claw some of that back or at least make sure that the consumer has control over their own data. And that’s the goal is to eventually get to where consumers are very comfortable in accessing, editing and deleting their own data that is online because data is the new frontier, it’s the new currency, it’s kind of what’s driving the world now.”
He said the most noticeable part of the law may be an increase in messages alerting people to their rights on websites and apps. It’s similar to notices they already get asking them to accept online cookies.
The bill passed both the state House and Senate unanimously.
Sorensen also said he hopes to see Congress act and pass federal data privacy legislation.