Geolocation Privacy Bill Advances To Full House Vote for Concurrence

Major update out of Springfield. The Illinois Geolocation Privacy Protection Act just passed out of committee on concurrence, meaning that the members have approved the amendments (which were minor) that were made by the Senate. The bill is now headed for a full floor vote in the House. If a majority of the House votes to approve the amendments, the bill would go straight to Governor Rauner's desk.

Thank you to Ann M. Williams - State Representative for her incredible testimony this morning, and thank you to Senator Tom Cullerton, ACLU of IllinoisIllinois PIRGChicago Alliance Against Sexual ExploitationCenter for Democracy & TechnologyTodd Belcore, and Social Change for your continued support and advocacy. We still have a long way to go but this is a very big step.

We are receiving many phone calls and emails from folks asking us how they can help. Here's the answer: Call your Representative and tell them to Vote Yes on House Bill 3449. These phone calls really do make a difference. You can use the tool below to identify and contact your Representative.

 We'll post updates as they become available.

http://il--nea.capwiz.com/nea/il/directory/statedir.tt

Tom Dart on WGN's "The Chicago Way with John Kass"

Tom Dart on WGN's "The Chicago Way with John Kass"

Recently Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart was on The Chicago Way with John Kass on WGN. He talks about recent successes regarding the Cook County Jail system, and goes into detail regarding the Right to Know Act about halfway through. Give it a listen!

Over 200 Million American Voters Data Leaked

Over 200 Million American Voters Data Leaked

The Intercept reports that personal data for nearly every American voter was exposed by a GOP data mining firm. Poor stewardship over gigantic databases of personal data is one of, if not the, key reason why Americans need more transparency for where their personal information winds up.

URGENT ACTION ALERT: Illinois Geolocation Privacy Protection Act

Attention everyone! The landmark Geolocation Privacy Protection Act (HB 3449) is being heard in the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow morning at 10:30AM. This bill recently passed the Illinois House of Representatives:

The Geolocation Privacy Protection Act requires companies that store or share your precise location data to get your opt-in consent first before storing or sharing it. This is important and different than the opt-in your phone has to give apps access to the GPS on the phone. You may want to enable a mapping app to use your location to know where you are, or a news app to be able to give you relevant data for your city, but you may also want to know and have a say in if your data is then sold off to third parties. Real dangers can happen with unrestricted use of one's geolocation data, including but not limited to systematic racial discrimination, using where you call home as a signifier of race.

The Illinois General Assembly has a system of being able to file witness slips in support of bills like this, and legislators pay close attention to them. All of the slips will be entered into the record by the committee on Tuesday before the hearing. High slip counts are critical to passing important legislation that the powerful internet tech lobbies oppose. If you support this kind of common sense privacy, please fill out a slip!

To file a witness slip, fill out your name and address, “self” for who you’re representing if not witnessing for an organization directly, select that you’re a proponent of the bill, and select “Record of Appearance Only” for type of testimony.

File a witness slip for the Geolocation Privacy Protection Bill here!

DPA Update: Internet Transparency Measure Clears Illinois Senate

DPA Update: Internet Transparency Measure Clears Illinois Senate

Chicago, Ill., May 10, 2017 The Illinois Senate took a monumental step for consumer privacy protections last week when it passed Senate Bill 1502, the Right to Know Act.

Backed by the unwavering support of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and sponsored by Senator Michael Hastings, the Right to Know Act provides consumers with a “right to know” what personal information websites and apps are collecting from their cell phones and computers, and with whom they are sharing it. A companion bill sponsored by Representative Art Turner has already passed out of committee in the House.

The Right to Know Act does not require companies to change their business practices in any way. It simply adds a measure of transparency that would allow consumers to make informed decisions about which websites and apps they do business with.

As internet privacy protections continue to unravel at the federal level, private citizens have increasingly expressed disdain for the secret data collection and disclosure policies of some internet companies and are demanding transparency. Last month the Digital Privacy Alliance commissioned a statewide survey that revealed more than 94% of Illinois registered voters disapprove of “corporations collecting, sharing, or selling” their personal information without their knowledge, while 80% said that if provided the opportunity they would request to know the names of the third parties with whom their personal information is shared and sold. Tellingly, more than 1,200 Illinois citizens, technologists, and tech companies have filed witness slips in support of the Right to Know Act.

The opposition – namely a number of multibillion-dollar tech companies based out of state – has chosen a rather ironic strategy to counter the overwhelming public support for this transparency bill: spread misinformation by telling lawmakers the bill would stifle innovation and scare tech companies away from Illinois. The groups making these far-fetched claims haven’t offered a shred of evidence to back up their thesis and haven’t bothered to consult with the companies at the epicenter of Illinois’ burgeoning tech scene.

As one Senator announced during last week’s floor debate, “Every technology company that I’ve spoken to, from Microsoft down to Uber and Lyft...are opposed to this bill.” Of course they are. These companies do not reflect the views of Illinois’ tech industry or small businesses, and certainly are not out to protect their interests.

This tension was highlighted in a recent op-ed by Derek Eder published in Crain's Chicago Business. Eder, founder of Chicago-based tech company DataMade, longtime member of startup hub 1871, and organizer of Chi Hack Night, makes the case for the Right to Know law. He concludes the piece by stating that “enhancing consumers’ privacy by making data collection practices more transparent will not hamper the ability for small businesses and tech startups in Illinois to thrive – in fact, it will do just the opposite.”

As the Right to Know Act now moves its way through the Illinois House of Representatives, it is the DPA’s hope that legislators on both sides of the aisle will continue to put their constituents’ interests over those of the out-of-state internet companies that want to continue collecting and selling personal data behind the backs of Illinois consumers.

For more information about the DPA and how to get involved, contact Industry Outreach Director Matt Erickson at merickson@digitalprivacyalliance.org

About the Digital Privacy Alliance

The Digital Privacy Alliance is a coalition of technologists, startups, computer engineers, developers, activists, lawyers, and civic hackers that fight for internet privacy legislation in statehouses across the country. Our members help policymakers learn about new and emerging technologies, testify before legislative bodies, and advocate for laws that promote transparency on the internet. For more information visit https://digitalprivacyalliance.org/.

URGENT ACTION ALERT: Illinois Right to Know Act

Senate Bill 1502, sponsored by Senator Michael Hastings, is up for a Senate Chamber vote tomorrow and needs all the support it can get. To get this bill over the finish line, we would ask that you call these Senators and ask them to support the Senate Bill 1502, Right to Know Act. Starting at 8:30PM please call these Senators at their Springfield offices:

Senator Steven M. Landek - (217) 782-0054
Senator Tony Munoz - (217) 782-9415
Senator Napoleon Harris - (217) 782-8066
Senator Martin Sandoval - (217) 782-5304
Senator Toi Hutchinson - (217) 782-7419
Senator Terry Link - (217) 782-8181

URGENT ACTION ALERT: ILLINOIS RIGHT TO KNOW AND GEOLOCATION PRIVACY BILLS

Today, the Illinois House Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, and IT Committee will vote on two incredibly important internet privacy bills:

The first bill, the Right to Know Act (HB 2774), provides you with visibility into to what data internet companies are collecting from you and who they are selling it to. The second bill, the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act (HB 3449), requires internet companies and apps to ask you for permission before collecting location data from your phone and selling it to others.

While these bills are simple and straightforward (they just require internet companies and apps to be transparent with consumers about the data they collect and sell), the bills are absolutely necessary to protect our constitutional right to privacy.

Your personal data is collected every time you go online or use an app on your phone. But what personal data is being collected and where does it go? These proposed privacy laws will give us the power to control our personal data and learn which internet companies are selling our highly sensitive personal information. Today, your data can power raids by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Irresponsible companies have accidentally leaked sensitive data for over one billion people. Tech companies have shown no responsibility in safeguarding your data online, which is why we must stand together in the statehouse for these protections.

The Illinois General Assembly has a system of being able to file witness slips in support of proposed laws like these, and legislators pay close attention to them. All of the slips will be entered into the record by the committee on Wednesday before the hearing. High slip counts are critical to passing important legislation that the powerful internet tech lobbies oppose. If you support this kind of common sense privacy, please fill out slips for both bills.

To file a witness slip, fill out your name and address, “self” for who you’re representing, select that you’re a proponent of the bill, select the latest amendments on each (HFA5 for HB 2774, and HFA 2 for HB 3449), and select “Record of Appearance Only” for type of testimony.

The Right to Know Act’s witness slip can be found here
The Geolocation Privacy Protection Act’s witness slip can be found here

NBC Investigates: Springfield Privacy Bills

NBC Chicago reporter Katie Kim spent some time with Outreach Director Matt Erickson and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart about the Illinois Right to Know Act and the Geolocation Information Privacy Act. The segment is a great introduction to the bills we're supporting in Illinois.

See it at http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Springfield-Debates-Groundbreaking-Online-Privacy-Protections-419404694.html

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DPA Outreach Director Matt Erickson on NBC Nightly News

Tonight on NBC Nightly News, DPA Outreach Director Matt Erickson was interviewed by Tom Costello for his take on the ongoing debate around FCC rules enacted last October prohibiting the sale of users' browsing data by internet service providers.

You can catch the video here: http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/internet-browsing-privacy-at-center-of-capitol-hill-fight-907751491657

Want to stay informed on the DPA's push for internet privacy? Follow us on social media, and sign up for our newsletter!

U.S. Senate vote is major setback for protecting citizens' privacy.

Earlier today, the United States Senate dealt a monumental blow to consumer privacy when it voted in favor of passing a resolution that gives more power to Internet Service Providers ("ISPs") and takes away commonsense consumer privacy protections implemented just this past October. The current rule requires ISPs to obtain customer consent prior to using their personal information for advertising, whereas, if passed by the United States House of Representatives, this resolution places the collection and use of customer information "behind a veil of secrecy", allowing easier access to our most sensitive information.

We commend Senators Ed Markey (Mass.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), and Senator Schatz (Hawaii) as well as advocate groups such as the ACLU who fought against this resolution. The fight now moves to the United States House of Representatives, where we will continue to work towards educating the public about these issues in the hopes of protecting and advancing commonsense privacy laws throughout the country.