What a Session it’s been in Springfield this year! Here’s a brief update on where we stand today. After having passed both the Illinois House (with bipartisan support) and Illinois Senate, the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act (House Bill 3449) was returned to the House for concurrence. Earlier this week, the bill was sent back to the Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, and IT committee which it had passed through on two previous occasions. This time, however, the bill only received 5 Yes votes, 2 No votes, 3 Present votes, and one Representative walked out of the hearing meaning his vote was not recorded into the official record. Though it received a majority of votes, the bill fell short of the 6 Yes votes that are needed to proceed back to the House floor. Thus, although a minor setback, the bill is parked in Committee for the time being but can be called again any point the legislature is in session going forward. For those interested, you can see the roll call of the Committee vote here: http://ilga.gov/…/…/committeevotes/10000HB3449SFA4_19207.pdf
Getting the bill – which is the first of its kind – this far has truly been an incredible accomplishment and we hope to see it sent to Governor Bruce Rauner's desk soon. A big thank you again to our sponsors, Ann Williams for State Representative and Senator Tom Cullerton for their unwavering commitment to protecting Illinois citizens’ privacy by requiring companies first obtain your consent before they can track your location and movements, and to all of the Illinois citizens, civil rights and privacy groups, and technology companies that have voiced their strong support for this commonsense bill.
In other news, the Right to Know Act (Senate Bill 1502) is also alive and well! It currently sits on the House floor after having passed the Senate a little over two weeks ago and having passed through the House’s Consumer Protection Committee last week. The Right to Know Act was actually called for a vote this past Monday (Memorial Day) on the House floor and was just a few votes short of passing even with almost a dozen legislators not voting. As such, State Rep. Art Turner postponed consideration, meaning that he withdrew the bill and can call it for another full House vote at any point going forward. We remain optimistic that this important bill – which makes apps and websites tell consumers what personal data they collect from their phones and computers and who they sell it to – will get passed and sent to Governor Rauner's desk as well. We would like to thank Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, Senator Michael E. Hastings, and Rep. Turner for standing up for the people of Illinois, and for fighting for essential privacy rights that the federal government continues to trample over.
Additionally, we would like to thank all of you. As a grassroots organization, our power comes from you, the people, and we will continue to work on your behalf to protect our fundamental right to privacy. Please follow us on social media, sign up for our newsletter, and donate to help keep the privacy fight going!