A can of worms was opened, and for lack of a better term, the shit is hitting the fan.
Today, Governor DeSantis was joined by House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Representative Fiona McFarland to highlight proposed legislation that would increase data privacy and security and uphold the rights of Floridians over major technology companies.
Today’s announcement is another important step to safeguard Floridians against the often-unchecked power of “Big Tech,” and follows the proposal from the Governor and legislative leaders earlier this month to increase technology transparency in Florida.
“They take whatever data they want when they want and consumers get virtually nothing except the quote privilege of using their own devices that they’ve already paid for,” said DeSantis.
The bill gives Floridians more control of their data the financial success of these big platforms who are collecting and selling your personal information has been built on, their ability to do so without you realizing it, and effectively without your informed consent, consumers are left in the dark.
House Bill 969 states: “Requires certain businesses to provide notice to consumers about data collection & selling practices; provides consumers right to request that certain data be disclosed, deleted, or corrected & to opt-in or opt-out of sale or sharing of such data; provides nondiscrimination measures, methods for requesting data & opting-in or opting-out of sale or sharing of such data, exemptions, applicability, contracts, & private cause of action, & enforcement & implementation; authorizes DLA to adopt rules.”
Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-Sarasota, the bill’s sponsor, said that if the legislation filed Monday becomes law, consumers would have the right to find out what data companies collected, ask that it be deleted, learn whether it was sold or shared, and sue if rules were broken.
The state also could sue companies if it believed that was “in the public interest,” the bill says, and companies would also have to be upfront about what data they collect.
“Today, when we interact with websites, apps, and services online, we leave behind troves of personal information about ourselves,” said Representative Fiona McFarland, bill sponsor. “While we celebrate the spirit of American ingenuity and innovation, we must balance this with protections for our private information
“The days when you have no control. will soon be over,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls at a press conference on Monday.
“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.”
The proposed legislation aims to shift the balance of power back to consumers and away from Big Tech by creating new protective measures for Floridians and their data privacy. The legislation would do the following:
- 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.