California legislators pass data-secrecy bill opposed by Silicon Valley

July 3, 2018

 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday signed data privacy law directed at providing users more power over how firms gather and administer their private information, a suggestion that Google and other large businesses had differed as extremely troublesome.

According to the proposal, big firms, such as those with data on over 50,000 people, would be needed beginning in 2020 to let clients see the data they have gathered on them, request removal of data, and opt out of having the data sold to third parties. Businesses should provide equal service to clients who exercise such privileges according to the law.

Each infringement would carry a $7,500 penalty. The rule relates to consumers in California.

“This is a gigantic step onward for California,” State Senator Bob Hertzberg, a Democrat, stated during a live-streamed press conference. “This is a gigantic step onward for people throughout the country.”

Brown initialed the measure hours after it passed the two houses of the legislature unanimously as part of an effort to stop a related measure from reaching the state’s November election vote.

Laws originating in the parliament rather than from ballot initiatives are simpler to change if issues crop up, and even adversaries in the business community branded the parliament’s description as the lesser of two evils.

The Internet Association, which also stands for Facebook and Amazon.com Inc, had resisted the proposal, as had the California Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation and the Association of National Advertisers.

 

CTIA, a wireless manufacturing trade group, called on the U.S. Legislature to ratify law instead.

“State-specific rules will suppress American invention and puzzle users,” CTIA said.

Eric Goldman, a technology law lecturer at Santa Clara University, stated on his blog this week that the rule “will likely” affect consumers outside of California also “due to the hassle and expenditure of building state-by-state consumer” experiences.