This OTYCD entry originally posted in May 2017.
Call and email your state legislators and ask them to create laws that will protect your privacy on the Internet.
Earlier, we urged you to call your house reps and ask them to vote against H.R. Res 86, which, if passed, would gut consumer privacy protections online. (We’re sure you won’t be surprised to know the bill was entirely sponsored by Republicans.) Well, it passed, and Trump signed it.
Now we must turn to our state legislators to protect us from those who would harvest our data and sell it.
Some state legislatures are already on the case. Illinois is working on a European-style “right to know” law that would tell customers what information search engines and social media platforms are gathering on them, and who they’re selling it to. Minnesota is mulling a law that would stop Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from selling consumer information without written permission. Massachusetts state senators just introduced a bill similar to Minnesota’s.
The first step in asking your state legislators to pass laws protecting your online privacy is knowing who they are.
Find your state senator and house rep here, as well as your state attorney general:
Then call or email them and ask them to pass laws that protect consumer privacy online, assuming they aren’t already doing that. If they are, tell them that you support their efforts, and ask what you can do to help make them law.
Sample script: “Hello, I am <Firstname Lastname from town, zip code>. I am contacting you to ask you to write, support, and pass laws that will protect <state name> consumers’ online privacy. As you know, Trump recently signed a law that allows Internet Service Providers to harvest information about their users’ online movements and sell it to third parties. I would like you and your colleagues to consider bills like those being discussed in Minnesota and Massachusetts, which would not let ISPs sell someone’s data without their written permission. Illinois is also considering a bill that would force search engines and social media platforms to tell consumers what data they’re gathering, and who they’re selling it to. Laws like these would do much to protect our privacy online. Thank you.”
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Read about the states’ reaction to the passage of HR Res 86:
Read about the efforts in the Illinois and Minnesota state legislatures to protect their residents’ online privacy: