California Privacy Ballot Initiative Blog Privacy & Security Law Blog

With the federal government missing in action California should set its own rules for internet privacy

With the federal government missing in action California should set its own rules for internet privacy

Supporters of the measure hope the governor will sign it Thursday in time for a related data privacy initiative to be withdrawn from the November ballot.

Each violation would carry a $7,500 fine.

The act provides broad consumer protections including the right to know all data collected by a business, the right to say no to the sale of information, the right to delete data and the right to know the objective of collecting data for business or commercial reasons.

They agreed to withdraw this unpopular ballot measure from consideration if the soda tax ban passed instead.

With little time to spare before a Friday deadline, California lawmakers passed and Gov. Scheduled to be effective in January 2020, the bill was passed unopposed through the state legislature and was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday, June 28. If a consumer opts-out of having data sold, they can not be treated differently under the new law. The law requires technology companies to disclose what data they are collecting on consumers.

The bill would let consumers ask companies such as Google and Facebook what personal data has been collected, why it was collected and what categories of third parties have received it. "The attorney general may have some issues that we need to fine-tune". The good news for privacy professionals is that this bill resembles in many ways the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

While this act only applies to California residents, it sets a precedent for other lawmakers to update their data-collection rules, especially with the increased public outrage over how their data is used.

In lieu of a national data protection policy in the USA, this new law in the nation's most populous state may well force tech companies to shift their policies for all Americans given the complexity of maintaining different standards in different states. "This is a huge step forward for people across the country".

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

A technology industry trade group said Thursday it's concerned by "the lack of public discussion and process surrounding this far-reaching bill". "It is critical going forward that policymakers work to correct the inevitable, negative policy and compliance ramifications this last-minute deal will create for California's consumers and businesses alike".

AT&T, Comcast, Facebook, Google and Verizon each put in $200,000 to a committee opposing the ballot measure and businesses were preparing to spend tens of millions to campaign against the measure. "We think there's a set of ramifications that's really hard to understand", Google senior vice president Sridhar Ramaswamy told reporters.

This could severely damage Facebook's business, since it would have to support its various services without the ability to monetize the users who opt out. The mobile industry group CTIA said it was better for the U.S. to pass such legislation at the national level. Republican and Democratic members of Congress have said that new laws might be necessary to protect consumers following high-profile data scandals.

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