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CFO Jimmy Patronis Applauds Governor DeSantis for Signing House Bill 1189

6/30/2020

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

CFO Jimmy Patronis Applauds Governor DeSantis for Signing House Bill 1189

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued the following statement on the signing of House Bill 1189 relating to genetic information for insurance purposes. This legislation expands existing prohibitions on the use of genetic information for insurance purposes to include life, long-term care, and disability insurance.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “As DNA testing becomes more popular, we must continue to protect Floridians and their private information. Your genetic code should only be shared with your explicit consent and it should not be used to determine the cost and kinds of insurance coverage available to you. Thank you to Governor DeSantis for signing this important legislation to protect Floridians and to Representative Chris Sprowls and Senator Kelli Stargel for taking a vital step in the fight for consumers and their right to genetic privacy.”

Representative Chris Sprowls said, “Emerging technology and innovations in science mean that we have more access to information about ourselves, including our ancestry and DNA, than ever before, but with these incredible breakthroughs also comes the responsibility on the part of policymakers to ensure consumers’ privacy is protected. Given the continued rise in popularity of DNA testing kits, it was imperative that we take action, in order to protect Floridians’ DNA data from falling into the hands of an insurer who could potentially weaponize that information against current or prospective policyholders in the form of rate increases or exclusionary policies.
 
“With the governor’s signature on this legislation, Florida has cemented itself as a leader in forward-thinking policy that protects individuals’ privacy, and I look forward to continuing to work with Governor DeSantis and my colleagues in the House and Senate to ensure Floridians’ privacy is protected as technology and science continue to evolve.”

Senator Kelli Stargel said, “While many Floridians have enjoyed using DNA testing kits to uncover their ancestry and genetic history, they would be unhappy to learn that insurance companies want access to that same personal information, so they can alter their policies and rates accordingly. We have been elected to protect Floridians, and this bill does just that. This good public policy protects our citizens from insurers mining their personal DNA data and using it against them and their families. Thank you Governor DeSantis and CFO Patronis for your support in ensuring this critical legislation was passed and signed.”
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).