DeSantis announces support for legislation limiting big tech control over personal information

DeSantis announces support for legislation limiting big tech control over personal information

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his support for a bill introduced in the state legislature that would put big tech in check.

DeSantis says the proposed measures are intended to give consumers more control over what personal information is stored, shared, and sold.

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“I plan to change what’s acceptable in the Sunshine State by shining a light on these practices and by empowering consumers.”

Introduced by Republican Rep. Fiona McFarland Monday, House Bill 969 aims to give consumers the right to see what information a company is collecting and to tell that company to delete it, or prohibit them from selling it, as well as the right to see if a data breach has occurred.

The bill lists penalties for unintentional violations that include fines of up to $2,500, and $7,500 for intentional violations.

“In Florida, we’re going to make sure consumers are in the driver’s seat to make that decision,” DeSantis said at a press conference introducing the bill Monday. “...not Silicon Valley, or other companies who are far more focused on their profit than your privacy.”

The Governor first voiced his concerns with tech companies earlier this year, claiming they were censoring conservative speech.

DeSantis pointed to former President Donald Trump’s removal from sites like Facebook and Twitter, and the de-platforming of the networking application “Parler.”

“As the companies have grown, and their influences expanded, big tech has come to look more like big brother with each passing day,” DeSantis said during a Feb. 2nd press conference. “This is 2021, not 1984, and this is real life, not George Orwell’s fiction.”

DeSantis says he’ll also allow Attorney General Ashley Moody to take action against tech companies if necessary.

READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE BILL BELOW:

HB969 by Charles Frazier on Scribd