Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation released its first comprehensive technology policy research, exploring the current state of data privacy in Texas and why the state must pass a digital bill of rights to safeguard sensitive, private information. “Texas’ Digital Bill of Rights” unpacks the extent to which companies are obtaining and using user data, the alarming lack of agency that Texans have over their data, and a roadmap to secure the strongest data privacy standards in the nation.

“Texas has a chance to pass comprehensive data privacy reform next session, which will serve as the bedrock for prudent tech policy in the Lone Star State,” said Zach Whiting, policy director for Better Tech for Tomorrow and senior fellow of technology policy. “It is imperative that users be given control over their data—which is their private property—and the ability to exercise fundamental digital rights to keep their information safe and secure.”

“The amount of information companies have on Texans is staggering, and currently, there is nothing stopping them from selling or giving this information to governments, foreign actors, or nefarious agents,” said David Dunmoyer, campaign director for Better Tech for Tomorrow. “Given 90% of likely voters in Texas agree that users should have to grant permission for businesses to be able to collect or share data with third parties, a digital bill of rights is a commonsense solution and good policy.”

Key Points

  • Data collection practices have become more rampant, sophisticated, and granular, leaving many users unaware of their data and privacy rights.
  • Users have very little control over how their data is being used, and data application practices can have concerning consequences.
  • Other states have passed data privacy laws to tackle this issue, and the EU adopted the GDPR to secure data privacy and protection.
  • The Texas Legislature has addressed some data rights issues in previous sessions; however, more is needed to adequately address data privacy rights.
  • With a digital bill of rights, Texans can have improved privacy online, knowledge on how their data is being used, and data collection controls.

To read the full research paper, please click here.