New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed new legislation that protects consumer privacy by requiring notifications to consumers of collection and disclosure of personal data by certain entities, including internet websites and online service providers.

“In a rapidly growing digital age, our society has become increasingly dependent on the internet to complete day-to-day tasks from shopping and working to deeply personal tasks such as managing finances and medical care,” said Gov. Murphy.

“However, far too often consumer privacy is exploited without consumers knowing that their data is being shared and sold,” he said. “This important legislation will help consumers reclaim control over their own personal data, and allow them the choice to share information that is personal to them.”

As part of the legislation, applicable entities are required to notify customers of the collection and disclosure of personal information to other third parties, and to provide customers with an ability to opt-out of that collection or disclosure.

“Enforcing the requirement for consumers to be notified by certain entities about the collection and disclosure of their personal data marks a shift towards a digital community that is better-informed and better-protected,” said state Senator Paul Moriarty. “In a time when personal data is a valuable commodity, safeguarding personal data is more important than ever.”

Specifically, the bill requires an operator that collects a consumer’s information through its site for the purpose of selling the consumer’s information to post a link clearly and conspicuously on its site, or in another prominently accessible location, that allows them to opt-out of the collection of the personal data.

The governor’s office also explained that the bill entitles consumers to know what data is held by the operator, so they have the ability to correct or delete incorrect information. Additionally, the operator must limit the collection of personal data to what is adequate, relevant, and reasonably necessary to their business and they must specify the express purposes for which personal data are processed.

“Today New Jersey is standing up for the privacy rights of its residents by empowering them with the ability to direct and know how their personal information is used,” said state Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “This legislation provides some of the strongest data protections in the nation and helps ensure the security of New Jersey consumers and their interests.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs