Illinois startups for digital privacy protection

***Update***

We are sincerely disappointed to announce that on September 22, 2017 Governor Rauner vetoed House Bill 3449, the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act – a groundbreaking consumer online privacy legislation that would have strengthened Illinois’ tech community by giving Illinoisans more say over when their personal information is collected, used and sold.

The Governor’s decision sends a clear message that he does not value the voices of the Illinois tech community. We urge all members of the Illinois Legislature to override the Governor’s veto so that we may start to rebuild consumer trust in technology and help sustain our burgeoning industry.


The success of the tech industry depends on consumer trust, and that trust is eroding. Over 94% of Illinois residents disapprove of corporations collecting, sharing, or selling personal data without their consent, yet it is done constantly and without transparency.

Action is needed to restore that trust, and we have the opportunity in Illinois to take the lead. Right now, two consumer privacy protection bills in Springfield are on their way to Governor Rauner’s desk to be signed into law:     

  • Right to Know act (SB1502, HB2774): Requires companies to be transparent about what personal data they collect from users and who they sell it to.
  • Geolocation Privacy Protection act (HB3449): Requires companies to get your permission before using and sharing the geolocation data they collect when tracking your whereabouts.

We are the tech startups, enterprise software companies and web development shops that believe these laws are necessary for the protection of citizens’ privacy rights and critical for ensuring consumer trust in our industry. 

We urge Governor Rauner to sign these bills into law:


The Honorable Bruce Rauner
Governor of the State of Illinois
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706


Governor Rauner:

We write in support of two important consumer privacy bills that are currently in the Illinois General Assembly and on their way to your desk: the Right to Know Act (SB1502, HB2774) and the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act (HB3449).

We are the tech startups, enterprise software companies and web development shops that believe these laws are necessary for the protection of citizens’ privacy rights and critical for ensuring consumer trust in our industry.

A large part of Illinois’ digital economy today is driven by the transaction of user data in exchange for online services. With the rising rate of hacked websites and the proliferation of exposed personal data, consumers are growing less and less likely to extend their trust to online services out of fear. 

In a recent poll conducted by Illinois Public Opinion Strategies, over 94% of Illinois residents disapprove of corporations collecting, sharing, or selling personal data without their consent and over 80% said they would use the Right to Know act to request the names of the companies that have obtained personal data.

If the consumer analytics industry stays on their current course, new startups executing on business plans involving consumer analytics will see their market eroded further as user trust disappears. Innovation in this sector will be diminished and Chicago’s burgeoning tech scene will be unable to compete with the already established giants in Silicon Valley and the rest of the world. 

By encouraging transparency and trust between businesses and consumers, we can provide benefits to Chicago’s tech startups struggling to gain traction with their markets. When consumers know how and where their personal data is used in exchange for services online, their trust in that service increases and they share in a manner that’s beneficial to both themselves and the companies they share their information with.

We urge you to protect Illinois businesses and citizens at the same time, and we urge you to sign the Right to Know Act (SB1502, HB2774) and the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act (HB3449) into law.


Sincerely,

 

Matthew Erickson
SpiderOak

Ted Carter
PrivacyMate

Joe Mastey
Joseph Mastey, LTD.

Sarah Stapp
LatherUp Co.

Stelios Valavanis
onShore Security

Karl Fogel  
Open Tech Strategies

Todd Belcore    
Social Change

Alison Stanton  
Stanton Ventures

Steve Ediger    
Steve Ediger Associates, LLC

Alex Au
Uncovery

Brandon Johnson
Westside Justice Center

Lisa Gilmore
Illinois Accountability Initiative

Caleb Chen
Private Internet Access

Gabriel Weinberg
DuckDuckGo

 

 

Companies

Derek Eder
DataMade

Adrian Bettridge-Wiese
2wāv inc.

Grant Crusor    
Black and Free

Steven Vance    
Chicago Cityscape

Debbie Emerson  
Designed in Stone

Bernadette Smith
Equality Institute

Zach Lipson
Function LLC

Eric Gosh
Gosh Technology Group

Keith Alperin
Helium Foot Software

Don Chartier
HourVoice

Sarah Reeser
Analytical Intel, LLC

Nir Basse
Citizens for Accountability

Chandler Givens
TrackOFF

Manu Fontaine
Hushmesh, Inc.


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