Senate committee overwhelmingly approves landmark Neurorights Act, protecting an individual’s neural data from misuse

SB 1223 defines neural data as sensitive personal information and applies the same protections in law over its use as other personal information

Sacramento, CA—Today the Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 1223, an innovative bill that applies consumer protections that are already in state law to an individual’s neural data authored by Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park). 

Today, the market for neurotech is growing at an annual rate of 12% and is expected to reach $21 billion by 2026. This technology has immense potential to improve Californians’ lives, but it also presents serious concerns for data privacy. The California Consumer Privacy Act requires that businesses only use sensitive personal information for limited purposes, such as providing you with the services you requested. Examples of sensitive personal information include: your social security number, financial account information, your precise geolocation data, or your biological data, but not neurodata. SB 1223 defines neurodata as sensitive personal information and applies the same limited protections for the use of your neurodata as any other sensitive personal information. 

“The neurtechnology industry has exploded globally over the last several years, and regulations need to continue to keep pace so that consumers have necessary protections that prevent the misuse of their personal sensitive information,” said Becker. “SB 1223 is an innovative, necessary measure that will prevent the unethical use of your neural data by companies who collect it.” 

Regulating neurotechnology early in its development is essential to ensure ethical use, protect privacy, establish industry standards, and address future implications. The Neurorights Act presents a common sense first step on this regulatory path.

This bill is sponsored by the Neurorights Foundation. It now heads to the Appropriations Committee for consideration.