R 353
2018 -- H 8353
Enacted 06/22/2018

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives Shanley, Keable, Marszalkowski, Carson, and Kazarian
Date Introduced: June 22, 2018

     WHEREAS, The right to privacy is a personal and fundamental right protected by the
United States Constitution; and
     WHEREAS, All individuals have a right to privacy in information pertaining to them,
and providing consumers with transparency about how their personal information, especially
information relating to their children, is shared by businesses is of utmost importance; and
     WHEREAS, This transparency is crucial for Rhode Island citizens to protect themselves
and their families from cyber-crimes and identity thieves; and
     WHEREAS, For free market forces to have a role in shaping the privacy practices and for
"opt-in" and "opt-out" remedies to be effective, consumers must be more than vaguely informed
that a business might share personal information with third parties; and
     WHEREAS, Consumers must be better informed about what kinds of personal
information is shared with other businesses. With these specifics, consumers can knowledgeably
choose to opt-in, opt-out, or choose among businesses that disclose information to third parties on
the basis of how protective the business is of consumers' privacy; and
     WHEREAS, Businesses are now collecting personal information and sharing and selling
it in ways not contemplated or properly covered by the current law; and
     WHEREAS, Some websites are installing tracking tools that record when consumers visit
webpages, and sending very personal information, such as age, gender, race, income, health
concerns, religion, and recent purchases to third-party marketers and data brokers; and
     WHEREAS, Third-party data broker companies are buying, selling, and trading personal
information obtained from mobile phones, financial institutions, social media sites, and other
online and brick and mortar companies; and
      WHEREAS, Some mobile applications are sharing personal information, such as
location information, unique phone identification numbers, and age, gender, and other personal
details with third-party companies; and
     WHEREAS, Consumers need to know the ways that their personal information is being
collected by companies and then shared or sold to third parties in order to properly protect their
privacy, personal safety, and financial security; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That a special legislative commission to be known as the "Rhode Island
Online Data Transparency and Privacy Protection Commission" be and the same is hereby
created consisting of eleven (11) members: five (5) of whom shall be members of the Rhode
Island House of Representatives, not more than four (4) from the same political party, to be
appointed by the Speaker of the House; one of whom shall be the Rhode Island Attorney General,
or designee; one of whom shall be a representative of an Internet service provider, to be
appointed by the Speaker of the House; one of whom shall be a representative from a commercial
website operator, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; one of whom shall be a
representative of a data transparency and privacy advocacy organization, to be appointed by the
Speaker of the House; one of whom shall be a member of a trade association or designee whose
membership includes companies from the information technology, e-commerce, the sharing and
gig economies, advanced energy, cybersecurity, venture capital and finance, to be appointed by
the Speaker of the House; and one of whom shall be a member of the general public, to be
appointed by the Speaker of the House.
     The purpose of said commission shall be to make a comprehensive study and provide
recommendations on legislation and/or regulations for protecting individuals from disclosures of
personally identifiable information through the Internet by operators of commercial websites or
online services.
     Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the members of the commission shall meet at
the call of the Speaker of the House and organize and shall select a chairperson.
     Vacancies in said commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.
     The membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services.
     All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish such advice and information,
documentary and otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or
desirable by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.
     The Speaker of the House is hereby authorized and directed to provide suitable quarters
for said commission; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the
House of Representatives no later than February 5, 2019, and said commission shall expire on
May 5, 2019.