Delaware Vote Tracker

House Passes Data Privacy Bill

In a shockingly partisan vote, the House passed a bill that would require businesses that sell data to register with the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Unit, ensuring fair and transparent practices. The Democrats voted yes, because we like privacy. Republicans voted no, because they hate privacy and want the government and corporations to know all your secrets.

Only one Republican voted yes: Ruth Briggs King. The vote was 27-13-1. Jeff Spiegelman was absent, but that is equivalent to a no vote.

This bill would protect brokered information, establish a website where the consumer can see how companies are selling personal data, and prohibit the use of personal information from unlawful purposes or fraudulent means. Unfortunately, there currently is no realistic way for the average resident to track who’s making a profit selling their personal information.

Under HB 262, Delawareans would have a clear and concise way to locate such data.

The state Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Unit would host the website and monitor registered entities with private personal data. If a company that sells such information doesn’t register, the department could pursue penalties to bring them into compliance.

House Bill 262 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Griffith, Matthews, Baumbach, Dorsey Walker, K.Johnson, Lambert, Morrison, Wilson-AntonHouse Passes 27-13-1. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Freel Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton  Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Vanderwende Yearick. Absent: Spiegelman
Hansen, Gay, Ennis
Current Status: Senate Banking, Business & Insurance 5/5/22

“As Americans and consumers, we have very little control on how our data is being used, yet too often we click ‘yes’ on privacy policies when we go into an app or on a website, without understanding the use of our information,” said Rep. Griffith. “This bill bridges the gap, providing transparency so consumers can track who has their personal information. People want to know who is selling their Social Security number, maiden name and other information. If people are making money off of that, consumers should be the first to know.”

“Data brokers collect and sell billions of data points about the residents of Delaware, while the people whose information they are trading in know virtually nothing about who these businesses are, the information they are amassing or how that sometimes very personal data is being used,” said Sen. Stephanie Hansen.

“The legislation that Rep. Griffith and I have sponsored will pull back the curtain on an industry that is currently operating in complete obscurity and provide Delawareans with some reassurance that the websites they visit, what they buy online and the digital services they rely on are not being used for nefarious purposes. I am grateful my colleagues in the House voted today to protect the privacy of Delawareans and I look forward to passing HB 262 in the Senate before June 30.”

“A typical consumer hands personal data over to businesses each day, but today that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the water, your data is then bought and sold by a gigantic industry that stockpiles, refines, and resells it to advertisers and others,” said Attorney General Kathy Jennings. “This is a booming industry that profits from the fact that the overwhelming majority of consumers have no idea, nor any way to learn, who’s selling their data, where it’s going, or how it’s being used. House Bill 262 brings sunlight to an industry that largely operates in the shadows, and equips consumers to make informed decisions about where and how they shop and share their data. I’m grateful to Rep. Griffith for championing one of the most robust, forward-thinking consumer protection bills in our state’s history and to the House for passing it.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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