New state law protects privacy of Mississippians

There is broad public support for individual privacy protections. That is why on Thursday, March 28, 2019, Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill into law to ensure that the privacy of Mississippians is protected when exercising their free speech rights by supporting non-profit causes and charities.

H.B. 1205 ensures that the state’s public agencies shall not require any entity organized under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code to provide an agency with personal information about donors. The new law provides injunctive relief for violations of this act.

In signing the bill, Governor Bryant said, “In recent years, charitable donations have been weaponized by certain groups against individuals in order to punish donors whose political beliefs differ from their own. I was pleased today to sign House Bill 1205, which protects the free speech rights of Mississippians who generously make charitable contributions.”

Bill sponsors included Representatives Jerry Turner and Mark Baker. In commentary published in a Washington Times article, they explained that, “in Mississippi…independent polling of regular voters showed 81 percent supported legislation to protect privacy. Only a mere 11 percent would oppose ‘a law in Mississippi that protects the personal information of individuals who donate to causes and charities of their choice.'”

Turner and Baker went on to say that, “most importantly, this law protects those who might have their private information targeted and revealed without their consent” and “providing restitution will rightfully combat the efforts of those interested in making your information public.”

Thank you to Mississippi leaders for protecting the free speech rights of Mississippi citizens. People United for Privacy encourages policymakers in other states to follow their lead.

2 responses on “New state law protects privacy of Mississippians

  1. Susan Miller

    I have noticed that any time I click on or agree with a facebook ad that somehow my name, address, and phone number become available to ten or twenty other similar agencies or entities. I do not appreciate that facebook allows people to have that much information. What else is facebook allowing to fall through the cracks? I don’t believe that Mark Zuckerberg is an evil man. However, how could he have possibly known he had opened a very engaging way to keep track of people and yet a potential pandora’s box. As he internet becomes more complex Mark Zuckerberg will have to be keep up with the latest attempts of the dark web to invade people’s privacy.

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