California lawmakers approve data-privacy bill despite opposition from Google, Facebook, advertisers

“California Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday signed data privacy legislation aimed at giving consumers more control over how companies collect and manage their personal information, a proposal that Google and other big companies had opposed as too burdensome,” Paresh Dave reports for Reuters. “Under the proposal, large companies, such as those with data on more than 50,000 people, would be required starting in 2020 to let consumers view the data they have collected on them, request deletion of data, and opt out of having the data sold to third parties. Companies must provide equal service to consumers who exercise such rights under the law. Each violation would carry a $7,500 fine. The law applies to users in California.”

“Brown signed the measure hours after it unanimously passed the two houses of the legislature as part of an effort to stop a similar measure from reaching the state’s November election ballot,” Dave reports. “Laws originating in the legislature instead of from ballot initiatives are easier to amend if issues arise, and even opponents in the business community characterized the legislature’s version as the lesser of two evils.”

“The measure would affect nearly every major business, but large technology firms that play an ever-increasing role in online communications and commerce are a big target. Data breaches affecting Facebook Inc., Uber Technologies Inc and other companies have generated increased public pressure for regulators to step in. Executives at Alphabet Inc’s Google had warned that the measure could have unintended consequences but have not said what those might be,” Dave reports. “The Internet Association, which also represents Facebook and Amazon.com Inc, had opposed the bill, as had the California Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation and the Association of National Advertisers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s a start, but rather than see a hodegpodge of laws that vary widely from state to state, we’d much prefer that the U.S. Congress would pass legislation that deals with privacy protection and reigns in the privacy-trampling Googles and Facebooks of the world for the entire country.

12 Comments

  1. California usually leads the nation on these kind of things and they are so big, many times their rules become de facto US standards. California’s economy by itself would be the 5th largest in the world and well over 10% of the US population live in the Golden State.

    Previous California laws requiring public notification of data compromises have been the only reason many Americans found out as there was no Federal statute and most other states have none.

    1. California also has one of the most stupid Democrat legislatures in the union promoting such ridiculous and foolish projects as multi-billion cost overrun bullet trains to nowhere few will use and exhorbitant gas taxes to pay for infrastructure we have already paid for (and they used the funds elsewhere). Taxpayers will have an opportunity to vote down the gas tax fortunately. Plus the cash surpluses they already have keep mounting up (and rarely do politicians save up for the inevitable revenue short rainy days). This is the first thing in a long time I would agree with they have done.

      1. I had to jump in when you started ranting about “…taxes to pay for infrastructure we have already paid for (and they used the funds elsewhere).”

        Texas has been controlled by the GOP at the state level for years, and it Is famous for redirecting taxes. For instance, toll roads that were financed by 20-year bonds are still toll roads several decades later because those toll revenues were redirected to leverage the financing of other projects. So, in a true red state, we are still paying those tolls (taxes)!

        Get a clue and stop being so partisan. The GOP is far from being ideologically pure.

      2. In addition, you need to consider that the roads and bridges and other transportation infrastructure must be *maintained.* The more infrastructure, the more maintenance.

        But, perhaps, you do not care about potholes and rough roads and never, ever complain about them? Doubt it.

      3. One more little interesting tidbit. The GOP governor and legislature have, on multiple occasions, attempting to unlawfully divert “rainy day” savings to cover deficit spending at the state level. That is true fiscal conservatism for you.

      1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the bill as described above.
        Solution… by 2020 either pay for service and keep privacy, or continue to get it free, or something else entirely.

        Writing an app to give unmitigated access to information is perhaps the worst price gouging in the history of man.

  2. Back in the day, about 17 or 18 years ago, the big promise of the Internet was targeted advertising and everyone thought it was such a grand idea. People generally felt that getting ads that were relevant to you as an individual was a good idea.

    It was as if they had no idea that creating such ads would require KNOWING SOME THINGS ABOUT YOU.

    Currently the ads on my MDN page are for a small internal California airline, books on Unintended Consequences, backup software, and technology training. All things that interest me.

    I personally don’t mind sharing the superficial meta data they collect in order to have websites that I enjoy like MDN. And Facebook, I don’t tell them anything real about me. They know that I like technology and that’s pretty much the extent of it.

      1. I’ve requested and done a deep dive on all of the data FaceBook has on me. It is laughably inaccurate. Also, as I’ve stated on many occasions, to defeat Facebook, all you need do is not give them any information you don’t want them to have. I give them fake names, and other fake information and never, ever, ever say yes to anyone requesting to use your contacts.

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