I’ve occasionally mentioned that in my opinion, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is one of the most activist state AGs when it comes to consumer privacy protection. He’s now running for Governor in Texas, and his platform does include privacy. Aman Batheja reports on a speech he gave:
In the most detailed speech since launching his bid for governor earlier this year, Attorney General Greg Abbott laid out a dozen new policy proposals Monday evening, touching on ethics reform, privacy rights, education, guns and Obamacare.
Abbott also proposed changes to state privacy laws. He described his proposals as pushing back against federal and state efforts to turn government “into Big Brother.”
“Government agencies like the NSA, like the IRS, like the EPA, are increasingly using tools to look at our emails, to tap into our phone calls, to look at our financial information or our health records,” Abbott said.
He said he wanted to bar state agencies from selling Texans’ personal information without their consent. Abbott described the practice as routine at agencies including the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and the Texas Department of Health Services.
He also proposed creating “a personal property right for your DNA.”
“Your DNA belongs to you, and no one else has the right to access that information without your consent,” Abbott said. “But the reality is that advances in technology are threatening that privacy right… You should have control over how your information about your DNA is used.”
He next waded into the debate over red light cameras, one which he acknowledged pits those arguing the safety value of the devices against those with privacy concerns.
“I believe it should be up to you, the people, to decide whether red light cameras is right for a community,” Abbott said, explaining that he would push to change state law to allow for voters to push for a ballot initiative to repeal a local red light camera ordinance.
Read more on Texas Tribune. The dozens of comments on him and his record under the news story are mainly negative.