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South Florida residents react to Gov. Ron DeSantis' 'Digital Bill of Rights' proposal

Plan focuses on 'big tech surveillance,' according to governor
Posted at 11:54 PM, Feb 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-16 09:06:12-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The announcement Wednesday of the "Digital Bill of Rights" proposed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has sparked the conversation on cybersecurity and what this means for the public.

The plan takes aim at social media and internet search companies, described by the governor as "big tech surveillance," including control of personal data. DeSantis spoke at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach.

"We all have our private life, and I don't think anybody should be interfering with it," Vincent Smith in West Palm Beach said.

For students like Isabella Grear, protection is most important to her.

"I think it could be really good, but I think it's scary that there's that much power in technology. I think it's important to have the option to choose what you want the government or certain apps to know," Grear said. "I make sure that apps don't track me and stuff. That's weird, especially apps that don't need to track you or know your location or anything like that."

The bill also would give people the right to control their own personal data.

"Everyone should be protected by the government, and I think it's a little invasive to have them knowing all your information into what you're thinking and what you're doing," Grear said.

Desantis said he wants consumers to make the decision on what information is collected and shared by digital companies.

"How important is privacy to you?" WPTV reporter Joel Lopez asked.

"It's the most biggest thing in my life, because privacy comes along with trust, you know?" Vincent Smith said.

Smith said he stays off social media and is cautiously optimistic on what the future of this bill may bring.

"You know I want to trust the government, but at the same time, it's almost like I don't," Smith said. "But that's just me being honest. I don't want to tell no lie out of my mouth."