West, Walke to Examine Internet Data Privacy in Interim Study

Mike Seals - July 27, 2020 11:35 am

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Josh West, R-Grove, and Rep. Collin Walke, D-Oklahoma City, announced their interim study on the issue of internet data privacy.

“Day by day we are losing any semblance of privacy due to internet service providers and online businesses skimming behavioral data from the internet,” West said.

“Take the company responsible for creating the Roomba autonomous vacuum for example,” Walke explained. “They openly stated their goal of selling maps of homeowner’s floor plans to companies like Google and Amazon in the very near future. Most people who own these items have no idea that their ‘vacuum cleaner’ is actually a corporate spy!”

“The framers of the Constitution knew the risk to individual freedom if privacy was not protected against governmental interference, which is why they created the Fourth Amendment,” West said. “For the first time in human history, corporations now possess more power and influence over private data than many governments; and yet, all levels of government have failed to protect citizens from such exploitation. The invasion of our privacy through data harvesting without informed consent and exploitation of that stolen data through manipulation, both overt and covert, is not a partisan issue – it goes to the very core of what it means to be an American.”

“The amount of data corporations have on us is astounding,” Walke said. “It’s time we realized that any semblance of privacy has really been ceded to corporate tech greed. Most people are not aware that this is occurring in the first place. Since knowing is half the battle, I look forward to working with Rep. West on this study in order to help Oklahomans understand just how important this issue is and that we must take proactive measures to limit corporation’s access to our data.”

Approved interim studies were announced Friday. Specific dates will be assigned to each House committee and committee chairs may now begin scheduling hearings. Interim studies may begin August 4 and must be completed by October 29.


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