Bloomberg Law Quotes Natasha Kohne, Michelle Reed on Connecticut Privacy Law

For its article “Connecticut Privacy Law Adds Stitch to Confusing Legal Patchwork,” Bloomberg Law quoted Akin Gump cybersecurity, privacy and data protection practice heads Natasha Kohne and Michelle Reed.

The article discusses a newly enacted Connecticut consumer privacy law due to take effect on July 1, 2023, and notes that it joins comprehensive consumer privacy legislation in California, Virginia, Colorado and Utah that comprise what Bloomberg characterizes as a national patchwork of laws that complicates business compliance.

The article notes that the Connecticut law states that consumer consent does not include agreement obtained through use of “dark patterns,” defined by the law as user interfaces designed to subvert or impair user autonomy, decision-making or choice.

Said Reed, “This is unique and important—dark patterns have been a source of concern. This is going to be an area where we’ll see some real enforcement down the line.”

The article reports that enforcement will fall to the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General. Kohne said that the addition of a fifth state with comprehensive consumer privacy legislation may fuel coordinated collaboration and enforcement actions among state attorneys general.

She added that the attorney general’s data privacy unit is well known, engaged and likely to hit the ground running once enforcement starts. However, Connecticut has a cure period that allows business to remedy potential violations before the attorney general can bring enforcement actions; this period does not expire until December 31, 2024.

The article notes that cure periods in California and Colorado are also due to expire, while Virginia’s and Utah’s laws do not have expiration dates. Kohne remarked that state attorneys general are unlikely to launch multistate investigations until the cure periods expire: “Once the cure period falls away, companies may not have an opportunity to come into compliance. We may then very well see an uptick in enforcement actions and collaborations across states.”