Brain Data Law Enacted

( – In a recent development, Colorado broadened its privacy law to cover brain data collected by various gadgets people use to gain insights into sleep, fitness, sports, and lifestyle.

The nonprofit Neurorights Foundation collaborated with the state to establish this unique legal safeguard for neurological data gathered by devices not covered by medical privacy laws.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill that extends the 2021 Privacy Act to include protection for neural data, defined as “measurement of the activity of an individual’s central or peripheral nervous systems and that can be processed by or with the assistance of a device.”

The foundation aims to alert authorities to the risks posed by devices like headbands for sleep improvement, meditation earpieces, and sensors for refining golf swings.

According to foundation co-founder Jared Genser, consumers are often unaware that consumer “neurotechnology” can record or influence brain activity.

As stated in the foundation’s report, “The human brain is unlike any other organ, as it generates all of our mental and cognitive activities.”

Such neural data can reveal highly sensitive information about individuals, which includes details about their mental health, physical health, and cognitive processes.

These gadgets operate outside the privacy regulations governing professional medical care.

Furthermore, Foundation President Rafael Yuste, who is also the Director of the Neurotechnology Center at Columbia University emphasized the significance of brain data and highlighted that thoughts, memories, emotions, and behavior are all stored in the brain.

The foundation’s study found that many companies, especially small startups, collected more neural data than necessary for their products and often shared this data with unspecified third parties.

Advocates are concerned about potential future risks as sensor sensitivity improves. Yuste warned of the possibility of companies selling magnetic stimulators to manipulate brain activity, not just record it.

With advancing technology, including neural implants and artificial intelligence, companies may accelerate the adoption of such gadgets by integrating them with popular services or features on their platforms.

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