There’s been a lot of rumbling about SB 281 by Sen. Mathew Pitsch to require state vendors to use a software application that would track actual computer time by state vendors who bill for hours of work on computers.

Criticism of the idea is reflected in a legislative impact statement prepared by the Department of Finance and Administration. For example, it says: The legislation appears to be written so as to favor a single contractor. It raises security concerns about state data. It would require tracking on both public and private devices. Similar bills have been defeated in other states, but more proposals are in the works.

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TransparentBusiness is the company seeking the work.  It specializes in giving companies the ability to monitor employees’ work on computers. The firm was co-founded by Russian-born Alex Konanykhin, who has an interesting story. You’ll see at the link background on the company, which is raising capital and pushing legislation in 22 states.

Here’s just one specific excerpt from the DFA analysis:

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The provisions in this bill create significant issues with privacy and federal regulatory compliance.
 It is not possible to take a screen shot every three minutes and not capture individual and personal data.
 Key logging software would record everything including passwords, healthcare, and other personal information with no mechanism for redaction before being recorded or stored by the tracking software.
 Meeting the requirements of the legislation would effectively be mandating the installation of third-party spyware on state-owned devices for the sole purpose of reclassifying sensitive data to be time-keeping (accounting records). (pg. 2, lines 35-36)
 This bill requires real-time and retroactive access of personal data by a third party.Additionally, the bill would allow Arkansas to have access to non-Arkansas owned personal data.
 This bill does not have explicit provisions on how to protect private information.

Tech heads take a look. Of course they have a lobbyist, Bi-Partisan Strategies, whose reps include former Republican legislator Marvin Parks.