‘They know where you are, they know what you’re reading, they know what you ate for lunch.’
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis slammed large tech firms in his first advertisement of his re-election campaign, criticizing them for turning consumer data into a commodity.
“Big Tech is too powerful. They know where you are, they know what you’re reading, they know what you ate for lunch,” Patronis says in the ad. “I want to stop them. These tech liberals in California think they can cancel us on social media, they can sell our data to big corporations and get rich off our backs.”
The ad is slated to run on television statewide starting Tuesday. The Patronis campaign released it in an email to the media with a link to the ad on YouTube.
It’s the first salvo in the CFO race, which pits incumbent Patronis, a Republican, against Democrat Adam Hattersley, a former state Representative from Tampa.
It also shows how Patronis will begin to put his campaign’s financial advantages to work as the Primary recedes into the rearview and the Nov. 8 General Election looms.
As of Aug. 26, Patronis has $4.5 million in his campaign account and political committee combined, while Hattersley has $9,000 in his campaign account.
Patronis has pushed legislation to require large tech companies to allow consumers to opt out of data harvesting on their platforms.
The major firms of Facebook, Google and its parent company, Alphabet, Twitter, Apple and Amazon were targeted in a different bill championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2021, which would aim to fine those companies if they booted a candidate for elected office off their platforms. But the law has been ruled unconstitutional in the courts, although DeSantis is appealing the ruling.
However, other large companies and big business lobbies have opposed the data privacy bill advocated by Patronis, fearing it would lead to a wave of litigation that would disrupt their bottom lines. The House passed the measure, HB 9, 103-8 this year, but it didn’t gain traction in the Senate.