Demand real data privacy

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Data is power in our digital society, and we cannot rely on corporations to police the ways that they manage and profit from it. Olympia is considering SB 5376, which was written by technology vendors to assure that they will retain control over the privacy of your data. The bill provides fewer protections than laws in California and Europe and allows for the creation of face surveillance systems without any meaningful safeguards against bias and privacy violations. Demand real data privacy. Tell your legislator to reject SB 5376.

Message Recipients:
Your State Lower Chamber Representatives

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Your Message
Oppose SB 5376: Support strong consumer data privacy protections
Dear Representative:

I write to urge you to oppose SB 5376, which allows corporations to retain control of individual data and is opposed by national and local organizations concerned with privacy. The bill also allows an invasive face surveillance infrastructure to be built without meaningful controls. Instead of this deeply problematic bill, I urge you to support a strong approach to data privacy legislation that empowers consumers, and to reject the proliferation of face surveillance technology, given its demonstrated bias.

Data is power in our digital society, and we cannot rely on corporations to police the ways in which they monetize and traffic in that information. We understand that data-driven decisions are being made with more frequency and without checks or balances – often without our knowledge. For this reason, it is important to ensure that consumers, and not corporations, have control over their data. Unfortunately, SB 5376—written by technology vendors—takes the opposite approach, failing to offer meaningful data privacy and falling below the standards set by the EU and California. Each provision of the bill is loaded with loopholes and exceptions that protect vendors, not people. The Legislature should reject this approach.

The face surveillance provisions in the bill are particularly concerning. Face surveillance is a uniquely powerful and dangerous technology that allows the government to know who is in a public place—you can leave your car at home, but you can’t change your face. This passive, pervasive surveillance—even if perfectly accurate—changes the nature of our democracy by putting people under government scrutiny, like suspects, at all times. And a growing body of evidence shows that face surveillance technology is biased—it is less accurate at identifying women, youth, trans and gender non-conforming people, and people of color.

Unfortunately, SB 5376 paves the way for a face surveillance technology infrastructure to be built, without addressing its impacts on vulnerable communities or our democracy. The bill permits the warrantless, suspicionless use of face surveillance by law enforcement in public places in all cases other than “ongoing surveillance of specified individuals.” And it fails to address known biases in the technology, offering no meaningful protections.

Please reject the flawed approach of SB 5376 on both data privacy and face surveillance. It is far more important to enact meaningful protections in these areas than to push through an industry bill that gives cover to bad practices in these areas. Please oppose SB 5376 and protect communities.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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