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'Mandatory' interim study to look at Internet privacy and security

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The 2019 Legislature passed a “mandatory study” of Internet privacy issues.

The bill originally would have allowed consumers to look at the data gathered, make corrections or deletions, and would have allowed them to ask the companies to stop gathering the data.

"A year or so ago, I bought some ties on line," said Rep. Jim Kasper (R-Fargo). "Within hours, I had two other offers of ties from other companies."

Kasper said the profile that is created is quick shared with other firms that sell the same things. He said he introduced the measure to try and slow this down.

"Hundreds of billions of dollars are being made by the selling and sharing of people's private information," Kasper said. "So the question is, whose information is it? Who has the right to it?"

Kasper said he believes it is a Constitutional ownership right, that each person owns the data.

"But the technology companies are getting it for nothing," Kasper said. "What do we get? Nothing."

Kasper said he doesn't think very many people know what is being done with data gathering.

"Every place we go, everything we do, everything we touch, look at on the Internet or our phone or television -- everything is being monitored, gathered and profiled," Kasper said.

Kasper is hoping the study will lead to legislation in 2021.

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