Data Privacy Bill moves to Senate

Rep. Josh West, R-Grove, Wednesday again won passage of legislation that would require consumer consent before personal data collected could be shared by major technology companies operating in the state.

House Bill 1030 re-creates the Oklahoma Computer Data Privacy Act. It passed the House on a vote of 84-11.

“Big tech is able to collect data on all of us down to the minutest detail,” West said. “They then turn around and profit off of the sale of that data, which is used to market us at best and socially engineer us at worst. This bill is simple. Tell the consumer up front what data you are collecting and what you will do with that data. Then let the consumer decide if they want to allow the sale of their personal and private information.”

West has run a version of this legislation the last two years. His previous bills passed the House by a large majority but failed to get a hearing in the state Senate. West said this year he’s expanded conversations with various stakeholders, and he’s hopeful this bill will now be considered in the opposite chamber.

Rep. Josh West, R-Grove

West pointed to a National Security Commission’s 700-plus page report that explains how adversaries to the United States are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems to enhance disinformation campaigns and cyber-attacks that identify and target American citizens. Big tech companies, meanwhile, are profiting off of the sale of such information in a way that is meant to manipulate and coerce behavior.

The report revealed that America is ill-prepared for the next decade of technological development, and part of that is due to a lack of governmental action in regulating things like data privacy. The commission recommends legislatures pass meaningful data privacy measures to protect their constituents.

Among other things, HB 1030 would require business operating in the state that collect consumers’ personal information to fully disclose the information collected and how it is being used or sold in a clear and conspicuous place and allow consumers to opt in or opt out.

The law would apply to businesses with an annual gross revenue of more than $15 million or that share for commercial purposes the personal information of 50,000 or more consumers or that derive 25% or more of its annual revenue from selling consumers’ personal information.

West said Oklahoma is falling behind other states in this matter as other states have already passed similar legislation or are considering it in the interest of protecting their constituents. Three states have enacted comprehensive consumer data privacy laws. Lawmakers have introduced similar bills in eight states this year as well as numerous bills on biometric information, children’s privacy, health data privacy, data broker regulation, and automated employment decision tools.

The goal of his legislation, West said, is to acknowledge Oklahomans’ Constitutional rights to privacy and establish that collection of personal data without knowledge or consent is a violation of such privacy. 

HB 1030 now moves to the Senate where it is authored by Brent Howard, R-Altus.

One thought on “Data Privacy Bill moves to Senate

  1. Jim Mazzei

    The fascinating thing about all of this big data decision making about individuals is they’re wrong as often as they’re right. Netflix is a great example. Having people who do not know you make decisions about what you should be eating, drinking, wearing, etc., has got to be concerning when you think seriously about it.

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