Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Electronics | By Shannon Stone

California passes personal data protection law

California passes personal data protection law

It requires they give consumers more information about their data if requested and gives people more choice in what happens with it.

The new law will take effect January 1, 2020, and lawmakers say they will likely make alterations to improve the policy before then.

Consumers could also ask companies to delete their information and refrain from selling it. Lawmakers scrambled to pass it so that a San Francisco real estate developer would remove a similar initiative from the November ballot.

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said the bill was "the most robust set of Internet privacy protections in the nation". The law applies to users in California. "State-specific laws will stifle American innovation and confuse consumers", CTIA said.

The California bill would not affect four local soda taxes that were passed in the state in recent years. Facebook also has faced intense scrutiny amid revelations that Republican-linked consulting firm Cambridge Analytica collected data from millions of Facebook users without their knowledge.

When the new law comes into effect, consumers will have the right to know what information companies are collecting on them, why the data is being collected, and with whom it is being shared. The bill bars companies from selling data acquired from kids under the age of 13 without their parents' consent.

In lieu of a national data protection policy in the U.S., 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. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, said.

"I think one of the things we will be looking at is the private rights of action, which has been raised by a number of people", Chau said. Supporters of the measure hope the governor will sign it Thursday in time for a related data privacy initiative to be withdrawn from the November ballot.

The effort to create strong consumer data protections found in Assembly Bill 375 began over two years ago, however, when Californians for Consumer Privacy chair Alistair MacTaggart began drafting an initiative. They say the policy will likely need future revisions and should be enacted through the legislative process instead of through a ballot initiative. Legislators have suggested they could make changes with future bills, something that would be far more hard if a ballot initiative passed.

The bill doesn't go into effect until 2020 and tech giants most affected by it, such as Google and Facebook, are expected to fight for amendments to the bill to decrease the scope of restrictions. Though industry groups had been gearing up for an opposition to the ballot initiative, the Internet Association issued a statement saying it would not impede the bill's enactment.

A lobbyist for the newspaper industry, for example, said he anxious the bill could harm news reporting by allowing subjects of negative investigative stories to prevent publication.

Consumers could sue under the bill if their data was not encrypted or redacted and the company that collected it did not have reasonable security measures in place to protect it.

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