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Bill Governing Digital Assets Passes Florida Senate, Ready For House

Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Source: WikiMedia Commons
Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Source: WikiMedia Commons

A Republican state senator wants to give Florida residents the option to hand off their digital assets if they die, or if they are not capable of handling them anymore. The Senate bill, designed to protect Floridians’ digital identity, passed the full Senate recently, and the House will likely take it up next week. This legislation is expected to make it to Governor Rick Scott’s desk.

Dorothy Hukill of Port Orange is the bill’s sponsor. She says millions of people die each year, leaving online accounts with all kinds of personal information—from family photos to financial data.

“Right now, there's absolutely no authority in the state of Florida for you to appoint someone to take care of those accounts just like you'd be able to appoint somebody under a power of attorney, or you’d be able to put them in your will to take care of your accounts,” Hukill said. “This is a real problem.”

Hukill says you can, theoretically, just give someone your username and password. But she says you could potentially cause that person or your internet provider to violate state and federal privacy laws. Hukill says her bill would protect them. She expects this measure to pass the House floor soon.