WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA — At a press conference on Wednesday, Governor DeSantis said he is focusing again on reigning in social media platforms by proposing a digital rights bill to protect Floridians.
The governor painted a big target on TikTok, asking lawmakers to prohibit access to the platform from all state government devices. Under the proposal, TikTok would also be blocked through internet and WiFi services at colleges, universities, and public schools “to combat the malign influence of China.”
PERSONAL DATA COLLECTION
Other measures would ban the collection of personally identifiable information, like GPS data, of Floridians through social media apps. Consumers would also have more options to control how their personal data is collected.
Earlier this year, the University of Florida told students and staff to stop using TikTok, citing concerns about the app’s collection of user data. In an email, the University said it was looking at “the possibility that foreign governments may use TikTok to control data collection.”
Last September, The Florida Standard reported on the governor’s executive order to stop state government agencies from procuring technology from any company “owned by, controlled by, or domiciled in foreign countries of concern.” If passed by the Legislature, those orders will become part of Florida law.
Quickly emerging as a likely rival to Donald Trump, DeSantis said his latest efforts are within Florida’s authority. “Congress isn’t doing a darned thing about any of this, and no one at the federal level has done anything about this the way they needed to.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody criticized the federal government for failing to protect consumers online. “This governor remains laser-focused on his mission of protecting his people and specifically protecting their rights,” said Moody.