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State Representative Paul Thissen

317 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
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For more information contact: Catherine Thompson 651-296-5499

Posted: 2017-05-04
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Press Release

Rep.Thissen Introduces Consumer Information Ownership Legislation


St. Paul – Today, Representative Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis) introduced legislation to change the economic balance of power between Minnesotans and the behemoth Internet companies that dominate our economy. The measure would require those companies to reimburse individual consumers for the value of the personal information they provide. Rep. Thissen initiated the legislature's effort this year to ensure consumer privacy rights are protected, a fight he and his colleagues continue to wage as the session enters its final weeks.

"Right now, our economy is becoming increasingly dominated by a handful of incredibly powerful companies who make huge amounts of money trading on the personal information of Americans," said Representative Thissen.  "It's time for Minnesotans to have ownership of their own personal information recognized and to share in the profits made off the sale of that information."

The legislation requires the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to set a value for personal consumer information.  Starting in 2019, any company that sells or shares personal consumer information, or that uses such information for advertising, will have to pay the individual consumer a fair value for use of that information.

"We have an incredibly unfair economy right now where a very few are benefiting and making historically unprecedented profits at the expense of the vast majority,” said Rep. Thissen.  “It's time we stand together and demand that economic gains being produced by trading information are shared with those who provided the information.”

Just this week, Rep. Thissen’s provision to give consumers the right to oppose selling or sharing of Web browsing data was cut from the Jobs bill conference committee report.

 

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