Briggs announces internet privacy legislation to restore repealed protections

HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced today a proposal to protect Pennsylvanian’s online privacy by restoring part of the privacy protections recently stripped by congress and President Donald Trump.

Briggs’ legislation is part of a package of commonsense privacy and consumer protection bills designed by House Democrats to mirror the recently repealed Federal Communications Commission internet privacy protection rules.

“Republicans in Washington recently voted to sell your private information to the highest bidder and it’s up to Pennsylvania to restore those protections,” Briggs said. “My proposal, and others proposed by my colleagues, would prevent big companies from exploiting your personal information and online activity for private profit while requiring them to notify you should a breach occur.”

Briggs’ proposal would require internet service providers and telecommunications companies to notify their customers when a data breach of customer personal data occurs and to establish, implement and maintain safeguards reasonably designed to ensure the security of personal data of its customers.

“Online users have a right to know when their sensitive information has been compromised. This bill helps to fix Washington’s failure to protect consumers by holding service providers accountable for securing sensitive data and requiring them to notify you in a timely manner if your sensitive information may have been compromised,” Briggs said.

If passed, the bill would require safeguards to include but not be limited to protecting against unauthorized loss, misuse, alteration, destruction, access to or use of such information. Service providers that fail to notify their customers of breaches will be considered in violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.

Briggs’ internet privacy bill is one of several announced today by members of the House Democratic Caucus. The other bills would require internet service providers or telecommunications companies to notify customers of their privacy policies in easy to understand language; create an opt-in and opt-out consent for consumers to allow disclosure or access to personal or proprietary information; and require internet service providers or telecommunications companies to take reasonable measure to protect a customer’s information. Another bill to address security would require state employees conducting state business to use encryption to protect personal, online information from being viewed or modified by a third party.