Expert Commentary

Connecticut Data Privacy Act: Application and Definitions

The Connecticut Data Privacy Act (CTDPA) will take effect on July 1, 2023. This article discusses CTDPA application and definitions, consumer rights, privacy notice, and related requirements.


Cyber and Privacy Risk and Insurance
June 2022

The Connecticut attorney general will have exclusive authority to enforce violations of the CTDPA.

Application and Definitions

The CTDPA applies to persons that conduct business in Connecticut or persons that produce products or services that are targeted to Connecticut residents and that occurred during the preceding calendar year.

  • Controlled or processed the personal data of not less than 100,000 consumers, excluding personal data controlled or processed solely for the purpose of completing a payment transaction; or
  • Controlled or processed the personal data of not less than 25,000 consumers and derived more than 25 percent of their gross revenue from the sale of personal data.

"Consumer" means an individual who is a Connecticut resident and does not include an individual acting in a commercial or employment context or as an employee, owner, director, officer, or contractor of a company, partnership, sole proprietorship, nonprofit, or government agency whose communications or transactions with the controller occur solely within the context of that individual's role with the company, partnership, sole proprietorship, nonprofit, or government agency.

"Controller" means an individual who, or legal entity that, alone or jointly with others determines the purpose and means of processing personal data. Determining whether a person is acting as a controller or processor with respect to a specific processing of data is a fact-based determination that depends on the context in which personal data is to be processed. A person that is not limited in their processing of personal data pursuant to a controller's instructions, or that fails to adhere to the instructions, is a controller and not a processor with respect to a specific processing of data. If a processor begins, alone or jointly with others, determining the purposes and means of the processing of personal data, they are a controller with respect to the processing and may be subject to an enforcement action under the CTDPA.

"Processor" means an individual who, or legal entity that, processes personal data on behalf of a controller. Determining whether a person is acting as a controller or processor with respect to a specific processing of data is a fact-based determination that depends on the context in which personal data is to be processed. A processor that continues to adhere to a controller's instructions with respect to a specific processing of personal data remains a processor.

"Process" or "processing" means any operation or set of operations performed, whether by manual or automated means, on personal data or on sets of personal data, such as the collection, use, storage, disclosure, analysis, deletion, or modification of personal data.

"Personal data" means any information that is linked or reasonably linkable to an identified or identifiable individual and does not include de-identified data or publicly available information.

"Identified or identifiable individual" means an individual who can be readily identified, directly or indirectly.

"De-identified data" means data that cannot reasonably be used to infer information about, or otherwise be linked to, an identified or identifiable individual, or a device linked to such individual, if the controller possesses such data.

  • Takes reasonable measures to ensure that such data cannot be associated with an individual;
  • Publicly commits to process such data only in a de-identified fashion and not attempt to re-identify such data; and
  • Contractually obligates any recipients of such data to satisfy the criteria in the two immediately preceding bullet points.

"Sale of personal data" means the exchange of personal data for monetary or other valuable consideration by a controller to a third party and does not include the disclosure of the following.

  • Of personal data to a processor that processes the personal data on behalf of the controller;
  • Of personal data to a third party for purposes of providing a product or service requested by the consumer;
  • Or transfer of personal data to an affiliate of the controller;
  • Of personal data where the consumer directs the controller to disclose the personal data or intentionally uses the controller to interact with a third party;
  • Of personal data that the consumer intentionally made available to the general public via a channel of mass media and did not restrict to a specific audience; or
  • Or transfer of personal data to a third party as an asset that is part of a merger, acquisition, bankruptcy or other transaction, or a proposed merger, acquisition, bankruptcy, or other transaction in which the third party assumes control of all or part of the controller's assets.

"Third party" means an individual or legal entity, such as a public authority, agency, or body, other than the consumer, controller, or processor or an affiliate of the processor or the controller.

"Affiliate" means a legal entity that shares common branding with another legal entity or controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with another legal entity. For purposes of this definition, "control" or "controlled" means the following.

  • Ownership of, or the power to vote, more than 50 percent of the outstanding shares of any class of voting security of a company;
  • Control in any manner over the election of a majority of the directors or of individuals exercising similar functions; or
  • The power to exercise controlling influence over the management of a company.

"Targeted advertising" means displaying advertisements to a consumer where the advertisement is selected based on personal data obtained or inferred from that consumer's activities over time and across nonaffiliated Internet websites or online applications to predict such consumer's preferences or interests and does not include the following.

  • Advertisements based on activities within a controller's own Internet websites or online applications;
  • Advertisements based on the context of a consumer's current search query, visit to an Internet website, or online application;
  • Advertisements directed to a consumer in response to the consumer's request for information or feedback; or
  • Processing personal data solely to measure or report advertising frequency, performance, or reach.

"Profiling" means any form of automated processing performed on personal data to evaluate, analyze, or predict personal aspects related to an identified or identifiable individual's economic situation, health, personal preferences, interests, reliability, behavior, location, or movements.

"Decisions that produce legal or similarly significant effects concerning the consumer" mean decisions made by the controller that result in the provision or denial by the controller of financial or lending services, housing, insurance, education enrollment or opportunity, criminal justice, employment opportunities, healthcare services, or access to essential goods or services.

"Consent" means a clear affirmative act signifying a consumer's freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous agreement to allow the processing of personal data relating to the consumer and may include a written statement, including by electronic means, or any other unambiguous affirmative action. The following does not constitute consent.

  • Acceptance of a general or broad terms of use or similar document that contains descriptions of personal data processing along with other, unrelated information;
  • Hovering over, muting, pausing, or closing a given piece of content; or
  • Agreement obtained through the use of dark patterns.

"Dark pattern" means a user interface designed or manipulated with the substantial effect of subverting or impairing user autonomy, decision-making, or choice and includes, but is not limited to, any practice the Federal Trade Commission refers to as a "dark pattern."

"Sensitive data" means personal data that includes the following.

  • Data revealing racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, mental or physical health condition or diagnosis, sex life, sexual orientation, or citizenship or immigration status;
  • The processing of genetic or biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying an individual;
  • Personal data collected from a known child; or
  • Precise geolocation data.

"Child" has the same meaning as provided in the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

"Pseudonymous data" means personal data that cannot be attributed to a specific individual without the use of additional information, provided such additional information is kept separately and is subject to appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure that the personal data is not attributed to an identified or identifiable individual.

"Trade secret" has the same meaning as provided in section 35–51 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

Consumer Rights

A consumer may exercise consumer rights by a secure and reliable means established by the controller and described to the consumer in the controller's privacy notice.

  • Right of access. A consumer has the right to confirm whether or not a controller is processing the consumer's personal data and access such personal data, unless such confirmation or access would require the controller to reveal a trade secret.
  • Right to correction. A consumer has the right to correct inaccuracies in the consumer's personal data, taking into account the nature of the personal data and the purposes of the processing of the consumer's personal data.
  • Right to deletion. A consumer has the right to delete personal data provided by, or obtained about, the consumer.
  • Right to data portability. A consumer has the right to obtain a copy of the consumer's personal data processed by the controller, in a portable and, to the extent technically feasible, readily usable format that allows the consumer to transmit the data to another controller without hindrance, where the processing is carried out by automated means, provided such controller will not be required to reveal any trade secret.
  • Right to opt out. A consumer has the right to opt out of the processing of the personal data for purposes of the following.
    • Targeted advertising;
    • The sale of personal data, subject to a specified exception; or
    • Profiling in furtherance of solely automated decisions that produce legal or similarly significant effects concerning the consumer.

If a controller sells personal data to third parties or processes personal data for targeted advertising, the controller must clearly and conspicuously disclose such processing as well as the manner in which a consumer may exercise the right to opt out of such processing.

Privacy Notice and Related Requirements

A controller must provide consumers with a reasonably accessible, clear, and meaningful privacy notice that includes all of the following.

  • The categories of personal data processed by the controller
  • The purpose for processing personal data
  • How consumers may exercise their consumer rights, including how a consumer may appeal a controller's decision with regard to the consumer's request
  • The categories of personal data that the controller shares with third parties, if any
  • The categories of third parties, if any, with which the controller shares personal data
  • An active electronic mail address or other online mechanism that the consumer may use to contact the controller

If a controller sells personal data to third parties or processes personal data for targeted advertising, the controller must clearly and conspicuously disclose such processing as well as the manner in which a consumer may exercise the right to opt out of such processing.

A controller must describe in the privacy notice the means for consumers to submit a request to exercise their consumer rights.

Any such means must include the following.

  • Providing a clear and conspicuous link on the controller's Internet website to an Internet Web page that enables a consumer, or an agent of the consumer, to opt out of the targeted advertising or sale of the consumer's personal data; and
  • Not later than January 1, 2025, allowing a consumer to opt out of any processing of the consumer's personal data for the purposes of targeted advertising, or any sale of such personal data, through an opt-out preference signal sent, with such consumer's consent, by a platform, technology, or mechanism to the controller indicating such consumer's intent to opt out of any such processing or sale. Such platform, technology, or mechanism must do the following.
    • Not unfairly disadvantage another controller;
    • Not make use of a default setting, but, rather, require the consumer to make an affirmative, freely given, and unambiguous choice to opt out of any processing of such consumer's personal data pursuant to the CTDPA;
    • Be consumer friendly and easy to use by the average consumer;
    • Be as consistent as possible with any other similar platform, technology, or mechanism required by any federal or state law or regulation; and
    • Enable the controller to accurately determine whether the consumer is a Connecticut resident and whether the consumer has made a legitimate request to opt out of any sale of such consumer's personal data or targeted advertising.

Opinions expressed in Expert Commentary articles are those of the author and are not necessarily held by the author's employer or IRMI. Expert Commentary articles and other IRMI Online content do not purport to provide legal, accounting, or other professional advice or opinion. If such advice is needed, consult with your attorney, accountant, or other qualified adviser.

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