Eric Buchanan


Alaska’s legislature should pass a comprehensive data privacy law to prevent companies’ exploitation of citizens’ personal data. The Alaska Constitution explicitly provides Alaskans with the right to privacy and calls upon the legislature to protect that right. Despite this explicit right, Alaskans’ privacy rights are vulnerable to exploitation by private companies. Proposed legislation to address this vulnerability should ensure data privacy protection, but the legislature should remain cognizant of concerns regarding innovation and business. To best achieve this balance, the legislation should be founded in generally accepted data privacy principles and should establish strong financial penalties for companies that violate the law. The legislation should also be flexible enough to avoid stifling innovation and unreasonably increasing compliance costs. More specifically, the law should allow companies to provide financial incentives to consumers in exchange for permission to collect, use, and share their data. Privacy legislation that meets these goals will effectively protect data privacy, while simultaneously enabling companies to innovate and turn a profit.

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