sunny.png
Sunday October 17th, 2021 12:40PM

Florida House overwhelmingly approves consumer privacy bill

By The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House resoundingly approved a consumer privacy bill on Wednesday, giving the public an opportunity to regain ownership of the personal data collected by companies and the right to sue companies for mishandling information in a marketplace where consumers themselves have become lucrative commodities.

The state Senate is expected to soon take up the House bill, as part of a package of proposals sought by Gov. Ron DeSantis meant to reign in Big Tech firms. The Republican governor is also seeking to redress concerns, particularly among conservatives, about how social media companies handle unpopular views.

Florida, the country's third most populous state, would be the latest to enact consumer protections against Big Data's ability to harvest personal information about how people conduct their day-to-day lives, including where they shop and eat, what they read and what they share online.

The resulting dossier is often bought and sold in a lucrative marketplace that has become an important element of modern commerce.

“It's clear we all agree that we need to do something about data privacy,” said Rep. Fiona McFarland, the Republican who was tapped to carry the bill in the House, adding that "the tech world has perhaps gone just a little bit too far without us knowing what's going on.”

Business interests have lobbied heavily against the proposal. McFarland noted that more than 300 lobbyists had registered to speak on the bill as it wound through legislative committees.

Despite intense lobbying from business interests, the House version retains a provision that would allow individual consumers to sue companies that do not comply with the law, including selling information when a consumer has asked that a company does not do so.

The personal cause of action had been removed from the Senate version, and could be a sticking point as the full Senate decides whether to take up the House version, not its own, when it considers the matter.

Some estimates put the cost of compliance at billions of dollars, and it is unclear how quickly businesses can put in place the necessary infrastructure and protocols to comply.

“We should be doing the important work to protect consumer privacy. Other states have started this work, and we should be a part of that,” said Rep. Ben Diamond, who supported the bill but nevertheless expressed reservations shared from the business community about the logistical and financial cost to comply.

Scores of so-called “techlash” bills have sprung up in statehouses across the country, propelled by concerns that Big Tech companies have become too powerful and that the federal government has not moved quickly enough to protect consumers from the intrusions of Big Data.

The Florida bill would require companies to reveal what data they are gathering, force them to delete it upon consumer request and make them liable for selling it when told not to.

“It creates one of the single largest regulatory burdens on Florida businesses," said Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Republican who was the lone House member to vote against the measure. “I support data privacy but this big government bill takes a terrible approach.”

Support for the bill was a rare show of bipartisanship on a high-profile initiative pushed by Gov. DeSantis as he prepares to launch his bid for reelection.

DeSantis is also urging lawmakers to pass a measure aimed at social media companies who critics claim stifle conservative voices on their platforms. The proposals before Florida lawmakers would authorize hefty fines against social media companies that remove the accounts of those seeking public office.

The bill was filed days after Twitter suspended the account of then-President Donald Trump after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. It would also punish the companies for “deplatforming” political candidates, including fines of up to $100,000 daily when a statewide office seeker is suspended from a social media site. Twitter booted Trump following the insurrection, after concluding that a “close review” of his tweets could lead to a “further incitement of violence.”

The full Senate is expected to give the measure an initial hearing during its floor session on Thursday.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Consumer News, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Technology News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Garland announces sweeping police probe after Floyd verdict
Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Justice Department is opening a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis after the guilty verdict in George Floyd’s death
4:32PM ( 11 minutes ago )
George Floyd and Emmett Till families see parallels in loss
The murders of Emmett Till and George Floyd were separated by more than six decades, contrasting circumstances and countless protests, but their families say they feel an intimate connection in their grief and what comes next
4:25PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Businesses scramble for help as job openings go unfilled
It looks like something to celebrate: small businesses posting “Help Wanted” signs as the economy edges toward normalcy
4:24PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
In Biden climate show, watch for cajoling, conflict, pathos
President Joe Biden takes center stage in a two-day climate summit highlighting America's return to the fight to curb global warming
3:27PM ( 1 hour ago )
Biden aims for momentum as US returns to climate fight
President Joe Biden is convening a coalition of the willing, the unwilling, the desperate-for-help and the avid-for-money for a two-day summit aimed at rallying the world’s worst polluters to do more to slow climate change
3:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
White House offers new tax credit to help spur vaccinations
President Joe Biden has announced new employer tax credits and other steps to encourage people reluctant to be inoculated to get the COVID-19 vaccine
3:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Dems push $25B to electrify school buses, a Biden priority
Democratic lawmakers have unveiled legislation that would invest $25 billion to convert the nation’s fleet of gasoline- and diesel-powered school buses to electric vehicles
11:53AM ( 4 hours ago )
German lawmakers approve 'emergency brake' virus rules
German lawmakers have approved a proposal by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to mandate uniform restrictions in areas where the coronavirus is spreading too quickly
11:09AM ( 5 hours ago )
Bad offshore weather delays SpaceX crew launch until Friday
SpaceX has bumped its next astronaut launch by a day because of dangerously high waves and wind offshore
11:07AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
FDA inspection found problems at factory making J&J vaccine
U.S. regulators say the Baltimore factory contracted to make Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine was dirty, didn’t follow proper manufacturing procedures and had poorly trained staff
3:54PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Facebook says it halts hackers tied to Palestinian security
Facebook says it has broken up a hacker network linked to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' intelligence service
3:43PM ( 1 hour ago )
Publisher pauses release of new Philip Roth biography
The publisher of a new, bestselling biography about Philip Roth has temporarily halted the book’s shipping and promotion as author Blake Bailey faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse
2:41PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
In death, long after loss, Mondale's liberal legacy stands
Many Americans may remember Walter Mondale for his near-shutout defeat for the White House in 1984
6:06AM ( 1 day ago )
Long after the loss, Mondale's liberal legacy still relevant
Many Americans may remember Walter Mondale for his near-shutout defeat for the White House in 1984
5:55AM ( 1 day ago )
Walter Mondale, Carter's vice president, dies at 93
Former Vice President Walter Mondale, a liberal icon who lost one of the most lopsided presidential elections after bluntly telling voters to expect a tax increase if he won, has died
5:54AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Consumer News
The Latest: France imposes restrictions on India travelers
A government official says France is about to impose new entry restrictions on travelers from India to fight a contagious coronavirus variant spreading in that country
11:22AM ( 5 hours ago )
New enrollments push Anthem beyond expectations in Q1
Anthem delivered a better-than-expected first quarter and pushed its 2021 forecast past expectations, as growing Medicaid enrollment helped the health insurer
11:19AM ( 5 hours ago )
World shares mixed as earnings take center stage
Shares have opened higher in Europe after a day of declines in Asia, as earnings take the spotlight
4:56AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
EU outlines ambitious AI regulations focused on risky uses
European Union officials have unveiled proposals for reining in high-risk uses of artificial intelligence such as live facial scanning that could threaten people’s safety or rights
11:31AM ( 5 hours ago )
Amazon begins rollout of pay-by-palm at Whole Foods near HQ
Amazon is rolling out pay-by-palm technology at some Whole Foods grocery stores near its headquarters to make paying quicker and more convenient
10:57AM ( 5 hours ago )
EU proposes rules for high-risk artificial intelligence uses
European Union officials have unveiled proposals for reining in high-risk uses of artificial intelligence such as live facial scanning that could threaten people’s safety or rights
7:23AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Technology News
Garland announces sweeping police probe after Floyd verdict
Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Justice Department is opening a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis after the guilty verdict in George Floyd’s death
4:32PM ( 12 minutes ago )
George Floyd and Emmett Till families see parallels in loss
The murders of Emmett Till and George Floyd were separated by more than six decades, contrasting circumstances and countless protests, but their families say they feel an intimate connection in their grief and what comes next
4:25PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Businesses scramble for help as job openings go unfilled
It looks like something to celebrate: small businesses posting “Help Wanted” signs as the economy edges toward normalcy
4:24PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Putin vows a 'quick and tough' Russian response for its foes
President Vladimir Putin says Moscow’s response will be “quick and tough” if the West encroaches on Russia's security interests
4:21PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Stocks end higher on Wall Street after a day of steady gains
Stocks ended broadly higher on Wall Street after steadily gaining throughout the day
4:12PM ( 32 minutes ago )