DeSantis beefs up consumer privacy laws, unveils legislation taking on Big Tech

DeSantis beefs up consumer privacy laws, unveils legislation taking on Big Tech

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
|
February 15, 2021

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has “beefed up” his effort to take on Big Tech and their ability to “monetize our privacy” and its overall overreach into the personal lives of every American.

“They have all the power. They dictate all the rules,” Gov. DeSantis said. “We can’t let it go on any longer.”

During a press conference in Tallahassee, Governor DeSantis, House Speaker Chris Sprowls,  and Representative Fiona McFarland outlined new legislation to counter Big Tech’s grasp on the privacy rights of Americans.

“For far too long, Big Tech companies have abdicated their responsibility of safeguarding and securing the data of Americans and Floridians; in fact, rather than protecting our data, they are profiting from it,” said Governor DeSantis. “This one-way street – where Big Tech has all the power and consumers have little to none – stops now. With the proposals announced today, we will finally check these companies’ unfettered ability to profit off our data and ensure the protection of Floridians’ personal and private information.”

“Today’s introduction of our Consumer Data Privacy legislation is another step in combating mass public distrust left in the wake of Big Tech companies’ destruction,” said Speaker Chris Sprowls. “They don’t care about your personal information; they don’t care who gets ahold of your sensitive data. In the state of Florida, we care. It’s time to stop bad actors and help restore consumers’ trust in companies that hold the keys to their personal information.”

Speaker Sprowls stated that “3 out fo 4 (Americans) found to have limited trust in Amazon, Google, or Facebook to handle their data properly,” adding that this “distrust is even more far-reaching in social media” where people have very little trust in big corporations handling their data.

“Today, when we interact with websites, apps, and services online, we leave behind troves of personal information about ourselves,” said Representative Fiona McFarland, the bill sponsor. “While we celebrate the spirit of American ingenuity and innovation, we must balance this with protections for our private information.”

According to a press release from DeSantis’ Executive Office, the legislation would do the following:

  • Require businesses to publish a privacy policy for personal information.
  • Give consumers the right to know what information a business has collected about them.
  • Allow consumers to request to delete or correct certain personal information.
  • Require businesses to allow consumers to “opt-out” of the sale of personal information to third parties.
  • Prohibit discrimination for opting out.
  • Limit a business’ use and retention of personal information.
  • Allow a limited private Cause of Action (COA).
  • Give the Attorney General power to enforce.
  • Limit the new consumer data privacy requirements to larger businesses.

 

“Additionally, the legislation would strengthen current law that does not adequately address the practices of the technology companies of today. The legislation would expand the Florida Information Protection Act to include biometric data, such as fingerprints, voice recordings, retina scans and more. The high sensitivity of biometric data warrants and deserves additional protection and security.

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist. Diverse New Media, Corp. publishes Floridianpress.com, Hispolitica.com, shark-tank.com, and Texaspolitics.com He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at www.brownpeople.org Email him at [email protected]