CT governor mulls ‘opt-out’ registry

Governor M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut is in the process of developing a legislative package to create an opt-out registry for online personal data. The Governor will be calling for a proposed opt-out registry, similar to the Do-Not-Call registry, that would establish a centralized, one-time process for Connecticut residents to remove some or all of their private information from Internet search sites, credit card solicitations, direct mail lists and e-mail lists.

The movement is initiated by complaints that she has received about online search engines that list names, addresses and telephone numbers as well as people’s ages, places of work and other personal data.

“Anyone who goes to WhitePages.com or 411.com will find personal information published that many people may want protected,” said Governor Rell in a statement.  “With a few clicks of the keyboard, anyone can find the age and gender of a person, where they live, where they work, birthdates and other identifying information. This is a safety and security issue — particularly for our elderly citizens who too often are targeted by scam artists and other opportunists.”

The Governor has noted that these sites are breaking no law by gathering and disseminating this information, but argued that many consumers are unaware that this information on them exists so openly.

This follows other actions by the Governor’s office to enhance computer security and be more private about personal information.

In October, the Department of Information Technology in CT partnered with SafeBoot for its encryption tool. The tool is being used by state agencies for laptop computers and other mobile computing and storage devices.

In September, Rell’s office announced a new mobile computing and storage device security policy requiring government agencies to adhere to new restrictions and accountability measures — including mandatory risk assessments and written authorization from the agency head — for any instance in which restricted or confidential data must reside on a mobile device for business reasons.

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