Florida lawmakers discuss bill to protect consumer data

New legislation to protect your data is on the move in the state Capitol. It would give you the right to know what data a company has, and allow you to stop them from selling the information.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – New legislation to protect consumers’ data is on the move this week in the state Capitol. It gives consumers the right to know what data a company has and it allows consumers to make them stop selling the information.

House Bill 9 doesn’t stop companies from selling your data, but it gives give you rights.

“One, it gives the consumer the right to know what information a company collects about them. Two, it gives the consumer the right to delete or correct that information. And three it gives the consumer the right to opt out of their data being sold or shared,” said Republican Representative Fiona McFarland of Sarasota who sponsored the bill.

As the legislation was being debated, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste released an ad arguing businesses could face billions in compliance costs.

Part of the ad says, “Some politicians want those wasteful policies in Florida, costing taxpayers here tens of billions.”

Democrat Representative Andrew Learned of Tampa offered six business backed amendments to narrow who was covered under the bill.

“There is a reason there are three hundred registered lobbyists on this bill. Businesses across the state of Florida are all crying foul,” Learned said.

The no vote was overwhelming on all six amendments offered.

So far, the companies have one win. The bill originally required them to remove your data upon your request within 48 hours. Now it’s four days.

The measure also requires the companies to destroy the data after having it for three years.

“So at three years, is certainly sufficient time for a company to hold your data and still service the purpose you gave it to them,” McFarland said. “If you have another interaction with the company, you buy another product or you sign up for another email, the clock starts again. But three years is really a long time for a company to hold on to your private information.”

The measure is a top priority of the House Speaker and Governor. The House will take a final vote on the data privacy legislation Wednesday.

In the case of a consumer under 18, the bill requires companies have to permission to sell the data, rather than requiring an opt out that is required for adults.

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