* On Friday afternoon, I sent all the Democratic gubernatorial campaigns a link to this story…
Time is running out on Governor Bruce Rauner to act on a bill that would change the way websites track a user’s location and how they store that data.
The bill is here. Notice that an amendment specifically exempted political committees. How convenient.
* Gov. Rauner vetoed the bill later that afternoon. From the Chicagoland Chamber’s response…
Protecting consumer privacy is important, but not when that legislation is designed to open up businesses of all sizes to litigation. This bill would have directly contradicted the FTC’s call for short, in-context disclosures, which are more effective and easier for consumers to understand.
* From the Digital Privacy Alliance’s response…
(T)he Governor’s veto is a betrayal of consumer trust and total failure to people who value their personal privacy. The Governor’s action is a clear message that he values his Silicon Valley friends more than the people and small businesses in Illinois.
Ari Scharg is a board member for the alliance. He’s also a partner at Edelson PC, “a consumer protection firm based in Chicago and San Francisco.” The alliance’s legislative director is Jacob Wright, an attorney at Edelson PC.
Edelson PC and its namesake have been contributing to legislators since August of last year, and many of those contributions were in the $10K range.
The firm is well-known in California…
When technology executives imagine the boogeyman, they see a baby-face guy in wire-rim glasses. His name is Jay Edelson.
Mr. Edelson, 42, is a class-action lawyer. He is also, if not the most hated person in Silicon Valley, very close to it. His firm, Edelson PC, specializes in suing technology companies, claiming privacy violations. He has gone after pretty much every tech company you have heard of — Amazon, Apple, Google — as well as many that you have not.
He’s stirred up some stuff in Cook County, too. Click here.
* So, I was mainly curious what JB Pritzker and Chris Kennedy thought about the bill, since Pritzker has been very involved in the tech community through his work to set up 1871. The wildly successful tech center is located in the Merchandise Mart, which Kennedy ran. But I also wanted to give everyone else a chance to weigh in, so I asked the campaigns: “As governor, would your candidate sign this bill into law? Why or why not?”
* Here are their answers in order of their submission…
Gubernatorial Candidate Tio Hardiman supports HB3449 and would sign this bill into law because it is very important that we protect consumers on all levels. As leaders, we should always find a way to make sure that people come first and agreeing to allow websites owners or APP developers to track or store information about consumers without their permission could present serious problems for the majority of consumers in the state of Illinois.
Bob Daiber says he would sign HB3449 because this legislation brings a dimension of privacy for consumers. Daiber said in today’s digital world, individuals should possess the right to grant consent before information is tracked or stored in a database.
* Sen. Daniel Biss…
“Litesa and I both strongly supported this bill in the spring, and I would definitely sign it.
“As the recent Equifax breach reminded us, neither corporations nor the government can be blindly trusted with our personal data. That’s why I’ve led on these issues in the Senate, introducing legislation to limit police surveillance, crack down on banks selling credit card data, stop Equifax from profiting off their data breach by selling data protection services, and more. We need a Governor who will stand up and protect all Illinoisans, not a Governor who continually sides with millionaires and big corporations over the rest of us.”
* Pawar’s campaign initially sent me a press release about the governor’s veto, then sent me this…
Yes, Ameya Pawar would have signed HB 3449, the geolocation privacy bill. It’s a shame Gov. Rauner chose to protect big corporations instead of consumer privacy. Because of his veto, Illinois missed an opportunity to become the first state to codify these protections and lead the way nationally on geolocation legislation.
Rauner saying this bill would result in job losses without improving privacy protections is false. It’s merely an attempt to distract from his strict pro-business agenda that protects the billionaire class while ignoring the needs of working families.
Pawar would have signed the geolocation privacy bill because he believes government exists to serve its residents and protect their privacy, especially when private consumer information is being used to serve corporate self-interests without their consent. Giving consumers more control over what information is shared, and to whom, is necessary for increasing transparency and restoring trust in our institutions.
* Now, here’s Chris Kennedy…
Yes, signing this bill allows the consumer to hold the power when it comes to the personal information they share with businesses. I trust the wisdom of the consumer more than the wisdom of government regulators or corporate competitors. Let them decide to opt in or opt out. In the age of Equifax and Russia meddling in our political elections, our priority should be to protect people online and build trust among consumers.
* JB Pritzker…
As governor, I will sign the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act. Protecting digital privacy ought to be a priority for our state and for our nation. Without federal action, we need to make sure every mobile phone user in Illinois isn’t having their location information tracked by companies without a user’s explicit permission.
I thought it might be possible that one of those two guys would break from the pack on this topic. I should’ve known better.
…Adding… From comments…
How about this little twist ….. Aren’t we recruiting Amazon to the State of Illinois?
* Question 1: Marijuana legalization
* Question 2: Where would they cut?
* Question 3: Municipal bankruptcy
* Question 4: Campaign theme
* Question 5: Cook County pop tax and state repeal