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Montana lawmaker pushing for DNA privacy law

Posted: 6:30 PM, Jan 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-01 11:36:31-05

BILLINGS – You may think your DNA is yours, but do you legally own it?

A state legislator will be pushing a bill in the upcoming Montana legislative session to allow you to keep the rights to it and prevent companies from sharing it.

Rep. Daniel Zolnikov (R-Billings) wants Montanans to have a say in whether you share your biometric DNA.

He says it mostly comes down to advertisers using your DNA to track what you buy and places you frequent.

Biometric information is anything on your body that identifies you — such as face recognition, the veins in your palms, your retinas and even your heartbeat.

He says he’ll be working with a Democrat from Missoula to stop companies from sharing your DNA during the legislative session.

“I think that we should be able to go where we want when we want without knowing there is a tracking device that you have not given consent for,” Rep. Zolnikov said,

“I don’t think that’s the world that we want to go towards and unless we put these in law today it’s going to be too late because it’s very hard to go against industries making billions of dollars off of your information,” he added.

Montana could fall in line with states like Washington that already have similar laws in place if the legislators approve the measure.

The Montana Legislature starts on January 7 in Helena.