• March 12, 2019

The Texas-Sized Push for Digital Privacy

The Texas-Sized Push for Digital Privacy

1024 683 Giovanni for State Representative


A publication of Texas State Representative Giovanni Capriglione

Vol. 4, Issue 3     —–     March 2019


It’s bitter cold as the massive-wooden oak doors creak open on the north side of the Capitol. Chatter and footsteps from lawmakers echo through the marble halls on a busy Tuesday morning.

Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, looks over a few notes as stakeholders greet each other in a crowded committee room to discuss his Texas Digital Privacy Protection Act.



Rep. Giovanni Capriglione discusses the Texas Privacy Protection Act.

As technology rapidly advances, data firms collect everything from the online purchases you make to the movies you stream to create a consumers online profile.

“We’re seeing in a lot of these cases that as this data gets compiled people are selling it to third parties,” Capriglione said.

report released by ProPublica last July said that health insurance companies run this information through complex algorithms to determine what rate you are charged. These practices are also used by the financial industry to determine credit and mortgage eligibility.

Stakeholders laugh as an electronic chime rings out from Capriglione’s smart watch.

“It keeps track of everything I do,” Capriglione jokes.

The Texas Digital Privacy Protection Act would require corporations to receive consent from the consumer before collecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and allow the consumer to view what information they have collected.


The Texas State Capitol – Credit: Andrew Blanton

Steve Perkins, former associate dean at the School of Management at the University of Texas in Dallas, said that the PII stolen in large data breaches can include Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of birth and other information that can lead to identity theft.

According to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office

, over 145 million people had their PII breached when consumer reporting agency Equifax was attacked by online hackers.

After discovering that Equifax left his PII vulnerable, Perkins attempted to have his profile erased from the company’s records.

“Honestly I’ve never received a straight answer from them on that,” Perkins said. “They will freeze your account, but they never will say that they can delete your account.”

Due to the current lack of regulation, corporations are allowed to continue to collect and sell information from the consumer even after the business relationship is terminated.

The Texas Digital Privacy Protection Act would limit the amount of PII corporations are allowed to collect to only the necessary information required for the agreed business transaction, and require that the information is held securely. Corporations would also be required to disclose data breaches, and be responsible for PII that is shared with a third party.

“I just want to drive that conversation to something that’s reasonable, consumer friendly and business friendly,” Capriglione said. “Any reasonable, good, ethical company would have these standards in place already.”


Quick Takes

Another super busy week in the Capitol.  What I really enjoy about session is turning the conversations I had with voters during the election into positive public policies that benefit Texans. I am honored that you have entrusted me with those responsibilities.

Several days this past week I worked on budget subcommittee formal meetings – evaluating exceptional item requests by state agencies line by line. Our subcommittee has been asking the tough questions, making sure that every taxpayer dollar is used appropriately – or not at all.

As we start to approach bill filing deadline and public hearings continue, more and more of our fellow neighbors are travelling to the State Capitol. Its great to see all of the interest and I was glad to meet over 200 constituents just last week!

I had a hearing in the House Public Education Committee for my House Bill 638 allowing bereaved parents the opportunity to receive their child’s posthumous high school diploma.  I was honored to have Lori Cerami testify in support of this legislation.  Mrs. Cerami’s daughter tragically passed away in a swimming accident and this legislation would allow any parent to receive their child’s posthumous diploma.

The House Ways & Means Committee held public hearings on HB2 – property tax reform legislation.

But it’s not all work. The Grapevine Historical Society hosted an event at the Torian Cabin in Grapevine. I had the distinct privilege of speaking in honor of Texas Independence Day and the City of Grapevine’s 175th Anniversary!  Other speakers included Mayor William D. Tate, Councilwoman Duff O’Dell, and Sam Houston – not the real Sam Houston 🙂

Thank you again for allowing me to serve you in the Texas House!


Office Contact Information

During the legislative session, please don’t hesitate to contact my office regarding meeting requests, your thoughts on particular legislation, or anything else I may be able to assist with. Your input is valuable, and I want to hear from you!

Capitol Office
Physical: Room E2.610
1100 Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 76701

Mailing: P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
*Call this number to express support/opposition for bills.

District Office
Physical: 1100 Bear Creek Pkwy.
Keller, TX 76248

Mailing: P.O. Box 770
Keller, TX 76244