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Proposed data privacy law unfair to small Illinois businesses

People deserve more control over how their personal information is used by businesses – and every company needs to be held responsible.

Crowds of passengers juggle their flight schedules as they wait for flights to start boarding again at the O’Hare United terminal on September 26, 2014. A fire at the data facility stopped all passenger flights out of O’Hare and Midway airports. | Al Podg
Illinois House Bill 3358, writes a Sun-Times reader, would not sufficiently protect people’s personal data — such as online viewing habits and purchases — from big internet services providers, but would come down harder on small busineses.
File photo by Al Podgorski \ Sun-Times

A recent Sun-Times editorial argued that a series of proposed privacy and data security proposals being considered in the Illinois Legislature represent our state’s best options for regulating how personal data is used and sold.

Buyer beware.

As a small business owner in Illinois and proud resident of Chicago, I can tell you that leaders in Springfield need to get to work, because they’re on the verge of passing a bill that exempts some of the biggest players online — telecom and retailers.

People deserve more control over how their personal information is used by businesses – and every company needs to be responsible with data.

A bill pending in Springfield, HB 3358, would let retailers and internet service providers — and the services they own — off the hook for any responsibility to protect our privacy. That means that this bill would apply to small businesses like mine, but not, say, Yahoo or its owner, Verizon.

Why should small businesses be forced to comply with a law that will exempt some of the largest corporations and give consumers privacy in name only?

Any legislation this year that exempts big business while handcuffing the little guy doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

Ricardo Jimenez, Chicago realtor

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Harriet Tubman should be on the $20 bill

America, protest President Donald Trump’s arrogant push-back of the Harriet Tubman $20 bill.

The extremely crystal-clear racism, classism, and sexism of the Trump administration to push back the highly awaited release of the $20 bill featuring America’s Black Moses is unacceptable!

Tubman and the Underground Railroad literally brought countless masses of black, enslaved men, women, and children to freedom, against all odds.

I absolutely refuse to idly sit by and simply be silent about this racist, classist, and sexist slap in the face.

Pastor Arthur L. Mackey Jr., Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cathedral, New York

Don’t raise gas tax for transit needs

A higher gas tax to pay for transportation and infrastructure repairs in Illinois is well-intended, but it’s the wrong approach.

There is a push in the Legislature to increase the state gas tax from 19 cents to 38 cents a gallon. You can add that to the municipal taxes drivers already pay at the pump, which are among the country’s highest.

While we must maintain our roads, the expense shouldn’t be on the backs of hard-working Chicagoans. Nor should we look to drivers in Illinois to do the heavy lifting.

There have to be other ways to fund the state’s transportation needs.

Regressive taxes — whether a tax on plastic bags, cell phones, soda, city stickers or license plate stickers — pick on the ordinary citizen who needs every penny to run a household.

Wake up, Chicago! Wake up, Illinois!

We elect state leaders to find creative solutions in our best interest, not the other way around.

Froy Jimenez, Pilsen