Nichols’ bill preventing government agencies from selling your information signed into law

Texas Politics

AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – A privacy bill authored by an East Texas senator was signed into law, and soon Texans should see fewer robo-calls as a result.

Sen. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville authored Senate Bill 15 “to defend consumer privacy”. The bill will limit state agency’s abilities to sell or disclose personal information to third parties.

“Not only will your personal information be protected, Texans won’t have as many ‘robo-calls’ bothering them because of SB15,” Nichols tweeted.

As it stood before this law, The Department of Public Safety and the Department of Motor Vehicles were able to sell, disclose and allow the resale of personal information attached to vehicles. That information included the registration, title, and operator’s or driver’s license, which can contain a person’s photograph, name, address, phone number, date of birth, email address, and vehicle identification number.

DPS and the DMV could share information with more than 1,000 different entities before this law.

“Because the agencies cannot control how that information is then passed on, the information can end up in the hands of bad actors,” a bill analysis from the House Research Organization said. “This can lead to fraudulent behavior, such as calls about a person’s vehicle warranty.”

In short, this should help cut down on those pesky “your vehicle’s warranty is expired” robo-calls. Violators can now be fined up to $100,000.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released a statement congratulating Nichols on the passage of SB15.

“Senate Bill 15 will help guard against fraud and increase data privacy and I am grateful to Sen. Nichols for his hard work on this legislation,” Patrick said.

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