* This bill probably won’t move forward without all parties at least grudgingly comig to agreement (mainly trial lawyers and business interests), and that’s gonna be tough in a year like this…
While Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg were publicly apologizing this month for failing to protect users’ information, Google’s lobbyists were drafting measures to de-fang an Illinois law recognized as the most rigorous consumer privacy statute in the country.
Their ambition: to strip language from a decade-old policy that regulates the use of fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition technology, and insert a loophole for companies embracing the use of biometrics.
Google is trying to exempt photos from the Illinois law at a time when it’s fighting a lawsuit in the state in which billions of dollars of damages may be at stake. The world’s largest search engine is facing claims that it violated the privacy of millions of users by gathering and storing biometric data without their consent. […]
Illinois state senator Bill Cunningham proposed an amendment to the Biometric Information Privacy Act in February then aimed at saving a local nursing home from overly burdensome litigation. Google and lobbyists from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce — of which Facebook is a member — intervened, and on April 4 they offered a new version with Cunningham to embed further caveats in the legislation, including language to exclude photos from regulatory scrutiny. […]
The amended bill in Illinois has twice been called to committee in the state senate, and twice pulled from the agenda over “misconceptions with what the bill aims to achieve,” said Cunningham. He confirmed he’ll continue to meet with Google’s lobbyist, the Illinois Chamber and privacy advocates in search of a compromise. Central to his effort and Google’s: ending the mountain of litigation triggered by BIPA that’s spawned more than 140 lawsuits since 2014.
* Other bills…
* How state lawmakers are trying to stop political patronage at tollway: Murphy said she was concerned by a Daily Herald article this month about a $6.6 million subcontract with Morreale Communications that piggybacked onto a larger engineering contract and so did not require a separate vote. The PR firm’s CEO Kim Morreale is married to Republican state Rep. Michael McAuliffe of Chicago. Engineering contracts do not bid on projects as construction companies do, where proposals are opened publicly and the lowest-cost, qualified one is selected. Instead a committee of tollway executives and an engineering professor review engineering applications and make recommendations. “Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent,” particularly with a no-bid process, Murphy said. “We have procurement rules in place to avoid the exact thing that this appears to be.”
* Stephanie’s Law gets hearing, still remains in committee: The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois opposes the bill. ACLU’s Ben Ruddell called the measure a perversion of due process. “The way the law works is to be on a sex registry, one has to be convicted of a sex offense,” Ruddell said.
* Phelps Finnie-sponsored bill would change tax rules for oil and gas producers
* Vapor product licensing: State lawmakers are drafting plans to regulate the vaping industry. Supporters think it could block illegal sales to minors. Critics say new licensing requirements would hurt tobacco shops which already sell vapor products.
* Homeless protection proposal: If passed, local police won’t be able to force someone off public property without helping them find shelter first. Officers also won’t be allowed to throw away their belongings. If rights are violated, a homeless person could sue the city. The bill would also require local governments to help them find jobs and access to public transportation.