Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said he will support legislation to shift the balance of power back to consumers in the state and away from Big Tech.
DeSantis, a Republican, spoke during a press conference in Tallahassee, and announced that he and Florida House leaders will push a bill (HB 969) that gives consumers the right to demand information about how companies use their data so they can, in part, “retain their privacy.”
“Today we take another important step to hold Big Tech accountable and shift the balance of power back to consumers with the introduction of legislation to increase data privacy and security in FL,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter.
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Earlier this month, DeSantis and Florida lawmakers announced a proposal to penalize Big Tech companies — Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, and Amazon — which they accused of silencing the free speech of conservatives.
“We’ve seen the power of their censorship over individuals and organizations, including what I believe is clear viewpoint discrimination,’’ said DeSantis, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Under our proposal, if a technology company de-platforms a candidate for elected office in Florida during the election, a company will face a daily fine of $100,000 until the candidate’s access to the platform is restored again.”
The move came after former President Donald Trump was taken off social media outlets following the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
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“Floridians should not have to give up their most intimate information to use a mobile device, surf the internet, or connect with friends and family on social media. The status quo has been a one-way street with Big Tech, and we can’t let it go on any longer,” DeSantis said.
Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-Sarasota sponsored the bill. She said that if the legislation becomes law, consumers would have the right to find out what data companies collected and sue if rules were broken, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
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The state also could sue companies if it believed that was “in the public interest,” according to the bill.