Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124
03/30/2018 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE
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HB 230-TELECOMMUNICATIONS & INTERNET PRIVACY 4:20:23 PM CHAIR KITO announced that the final order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 230, "An Act relating to the collection of customer information by telecommunications and Internet service providers; and establishing an unfair trade practice under the Alaska Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act." 4:20:36 PM PATRICK FITZGERALD, Staff, Representative Harriet Drummond, Alaska State Legislature, reintroduced HB 230 on behalf of Representative Drummond, prime sponsor. He paraphrased the sponsor statement which reads as follows [original punctuation provided]: House Bill 230 restricts any telecommunication service or internet service provider from collecting personal information of a private customer without the consent of the customer to protect the privacy and individual liberty of every Alaskan. Alaska is one of the most independent states in the Union which is reflected by the citizens who live here. In a time of the most technologically advanced society, Alaskans pride themselves on independence, individual liberty and privacy. HB230 will protect privacy of Alaskans' personal information stored on a cyber based utility. Cell phones, computers, laptops and tablets are all modern tools with which private citizens are able to conduct commerce and trade. Online shopping and bill paying have become very popular with easy accessibility to businesses and providers. Many of these devices have the capability to retain memory of any account number, social security number, credit card information, medical information and online purchases. Passing HB 230 will put into law that telecommunication companies and internet service providers must be given consent by the user of any service or device before selling, trading, or gifting information entered by a private citizen. HB230 prevents discrimination of users who decline to allow the sharing of personal information by telecommunication companies and internet service providers. HB230 simply restricts large companies from selling information of a private citizen to the highest bidder without the consent of the user. Passing HB230 will assure users of cyber connected devices that no information is collected without the express written consent of the user. HB230 keeps Alaskans' information private, preserving the individual liberty and independence of every Alaskan. 4:22:01 PM REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH shared his concern about unintended consequences with the proposed bill. MR. FITZGERALD emphasized that the aim is not to accuse any Alaska ISP of acting in the way described in the bill. He stated the interest is in putting something in place in the absence of federal law. REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH said that it strikes him there is a presumption of guilt. 4:25:49 PM REPRESENTATIVE WOOL said he wonders how the effects of the bill "will play out." MR. FITZGERALD answered that ISPs have contracts. He said that if ISPs are found to be selling information without consent, the bill would provide for civil recourse. REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked whether the behavior is occurring currently. MR. FITZGERALD answered the legislation was suggested by the Council of State Governments in reaction to the roll-back of federal legislation. REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked whether the proposed bill is preemptive. 4:31:26 PM REPRESENTATIVE HARRIET DRUMMOND, Alaska State Legislature, reintroduced HB 230 as prime sponsor. She answered that the proposed bill does not have anything to do with net neutrality. She described the legislative internet offering in the Capitol Building. She said the bill would pertain to business and resident internet contracts. CHAIR KITO asked whether Alaska ISPs are not currently treating consumers with respect. REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND answered the proposed bill is preemptive. CHAIR KITO noted there is a penalty section in the bill. He asked what the penalty is for violation of the provision. MR. FITZGERALD shared his understanding that penalties would be established by the department governing the issue. CHAIR KITO asked to receive information on penalties. 4:35:38 PM CHAIR KITO stated that public testimony is still open. Upon ascertaining that no one was available to testify, he closed public testimony on HB 230. 4:36:05 PM REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH stated he does not support the proposed bill. 4:37:06 PM REPRESENTATIVE WOOL said he would like to have more information on the proposed bill. CHAIR KITO held over HB 230.