Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law that’s designed to establish data privacy rights for Iowans.

The bill first passed the Iowa House last year and it cleared both the House and Senate unanimously this year.

“While everyone involved acknowledges that a federal law would be preferable, it is generally understood that it is unlikely congress will act anytime soon and so we are taking the first step ourselves,” said Representative Ray Sorenson of Greenfield, chair of the House Economic Growth and Technology Committee.

Senator Chris Cournoyer of Le Claire, chair of the Senate Technology Commitee, said the bill is a strong starting point. “A data privacy bill that is designed to increase protections for consumers’ personal data, provide consumers with certain rights and regulate businesses’ use of consumers’ personal data,” Cournoyer said.

Five other states have similar laws, but Iowa is the first state in the Midwest to make this move. “This bill becomes effective January 1, 2025,” Cournoyer said, “giving time for implementation, compliance and enhancements as new innovations in consumer data protection become known.”

Governor Reynolds said in a written statement that it’s never been more important to “clearly and unmistakably” say  “consumers deserve a reasonable level of transparency and control over their personal data” and this bill does that.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah and Virginia have passed similar laws. The laws generally require most websites to let consumers click a box saying they do not want their personal information captured on the website sold elsewhere. California requires so called data brokers to register with the state.

Radio Iowa