Cyber security bill protecting personal data passes Senate committee

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A cyber security bill protecting personal information collected by government agencies unanimously passed the Florida Senate Oversight Committee on Thursday.

The Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability approved Senate Bill 782, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, which moves the state closer to a uniform approach to the security, collection, disposal and sharing of personal data. 

“Protecting Floridians’ personal information is of the utmost importance in today’s digital world,” Brandes said in a statement. “Senate Bill 782 requires rules that govern the secure disposal of data collected by agencies and ensures that government retains only the information it needs.”

SB 782 creates standardized data management, by regulating how information is processed by all government websites that collect, storing, disclosing, and ultimately disposing of personal identification information. The bill also defines personal identification information as data used to identify a specific individual.

Both agency and contractor websites will be required to reveal not only what information is collected, but also the basis for collecting the personal information. The bill also requires security measures to protect an individual’s identity.

If passed, Florida will establish pilot programs for publishing data in the health care field, allowing access to non-identifying information for creating applications, websites, or reports. Brandes believes that the information would increase efficiency and ultimately lower health care costs.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.