Illinois: Tell Legislators to Protect Your Privacy

If you live in Illinois, your state legislators are set to consider a critical new privacy law poised to protect residents from microphone surveillance. With smartphones a fact of life and smart home technology becoming ever more common, Illinois residents deserve to know that data-hungry corporations will be punished should they abuse this household technology. Bill SB 1719, the Keep Internet Devices Safe Act, will make it unlawful for companies to collect audio information using built-in device microphones without the knowledge and consent of the user.

This week, SB 1719 is expected to reach committee before the Illinois General Assembly. We need you to speak out now, and show your support for a bill that protects the privacy of Illinois citizens.

To register your support, please visit the Illinois General Assembly witness slip page for the bill. Fill out:

  1. Your personal details

  2. Who you represent. "Self" if you're just signing for yourself, otherwise the group you're speaking on behalf of.

  3. Select your position as a "Proponent" of the bill, and "Record of Appearance Only".

Together, we can help advance Illinois privacy protections!

Action needed: protect your biometric privacy!

Today, as Mark Zuckerburg goes in front of a combined Senate committee hearing to again explain his company's actions in their abusive practices in selling your data to Cambridge Analytica, industry groups partially funded by Facebook are in Springfield, Illinois trying to reduce the legal protections we have around our personal biometric data.

Biometrics are the data that physically identify you. These can be everything from genetic material, to blood type, to fingerprints, to identifying facial photographs. Unlike an email address, a password, or credit card number, your biometrics don't change. If they are spread or shared without your knowledge or consent, you cannot go back and change them and invalidate the old data. This by necessity means everyday people should have more control over their personal biometric information.

In Illinois, the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is the country's leading and most comprehensive legislation to protect this sensitive information. It provides consumers reasonable control over their data, while allowing companies to still make use of it should they get consent from the people they collect this data from.

Facebook and others would love nothing but to see BIPA ended so they can continue collecting personal data to sell to companies like Cambridge Analytica in the future. To do so, they've introduced IL SB 3053, which creates loopholes so large in BIPA a company would have to be trying to wind up regulated under the proposed changes. SB 3053 must not be allowed out of committee!

To register your opposition to the bill, please visit the IL General Assembly witness slip page for the bill. Fill out:

  1. Your personal details
  2. Who you represent. "Self" if you're just signing for yourself, otherwise the group you're speaking on behalf of.
  3. Select opposition to the original bill, and "Record of Appearance Only". 

Together, we can help save Illinois privacy protections!

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


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