DeSantis, Sprowls roll out ‘data privacy’ bill

by | Feb 15, 2021

Governor Ron DeSantis, along with House leadership, announced a new ‘data privacy’ bill to shift the balance of power back to Floridians and allow them to have the ultimate say in how their privacy is used.

Holding a press conference at the State Capitol on Monday, DeSantis rolled out a new component in their fight against Big Tech companies, proposing a new measure (HB 969) that will allow consumers in Florida to have a right to decide how Silicon Valley uses their personal information.

“Today is another important step, again, putting more meat on the bones to check the growing power and influence of Big Tech, and to safeguard the privacy and security of consumer data,” DeSantis told reporters today.

DeSantis said the new legislation, known as the “Consumer Data Privacy” bill, will put Florida consumers in the “driver’s seat” and give them back control of their sensitive data.

“Today we look to change what’s acceptable in the sunshine state by shining a light on these practices and by empowering consumers to make decisions about if, how, and when their personal information is used,” DeSantis continued.

The Governor said the proposal would require companies like Twitter and Facebook — who collect and sell data — to tell consumers “how they use your personal information in detail.”

DeSantis said Floridians will also be allowed to opt out of such practices without “discrimination or retaliation” from Big Tech platforms.

House Speaker Chris Sprowls remarked that the bill also applies to the genetic privacy of users and prevents third parties from holding consumer’s information hostage.

“The legislation protects users’ biometric data, as fingerprints, voice recordings, and retinal scans have become more and more popular over the years,” Sprowls said in the Cabinet Meeting Room. It also allows users to request deletion or correction of personal information, and to opt out of the sale of personal information to third parties.”

Sprowls also stated that the bill would give the attorney general the ability to file civil penalties against companies and would offer a “common sense solution” that all consumers in Florida are currently facing.

“The days in which you had no control will soon be over,” Sprowls proclaimed.

The House measure will be spearheaded by State Representative Fiona McFarland, who noted the importance of protecting consumers’ digital footprint.

“There ought to be guardrails, standards, and as this bill proposes, a reaffirmation of our rights in the powerful and rapidly growing realm of personal data,” McFarland proclaimed.

Today’s presser comes on the heels of an announcement earlier this month by DeSantis and company, promising to hold Big Tech ‘oligarchies’ accountable for how they control the flow of information and manipulate the narrative in Florida’s “public square.”

The Capitolist reached out to Facebook and Twitter regarding the newly filed bill, but received no immediate comment. Check back for additional updates.


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