An effort has been made to improve California’s new data privacy law. It failed. Other bills are being pushed to make changes to make it easier for tech companies to use data they mine.
The bill is complex. This story is not. The California Consumer Privacy Act gives consumers the right to know what data is being gathered and the right to restrict how it is sold — if it is sold — and to force firms to delete the data.
Congress is considering a similar bill and consumer advocates are rallying around the California law to make that happen. It is — like this new privacy improvement bill did — getting strong pushback from technology companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google.
The bill introduced by California Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson — a Democrat — would have allowed consumers to sue companies for violations of the law. It failed to get out of the Senate Appropriation Committee.
Tech companies are delighted.
The bill had the support of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and other privacy advocates. He liked that it would give the state more latitude to enforce the law’s provisions. And like Jackson — he’s disappointed.
The senator says the tech firms have too much power and use that power to the detriment of consumers. “The truth of the matter is the tech world is such a behemoth at this point in time, they have so much money, they have really been driving this whole discussion,” she said.
The point — she said — is to make sure companies delete data when asked and her bill would make them more accountable. As the law stands now, it is up to the state to do the enforcement. The bill would have put the consumer in that loop.
“There are so many aspects to this where violations could occur but the attorney general could be the only entity that could bring a suit,” Jackson added. That’s why the bill did away with the 30-days notice to a tech firm to fix a violation before the attorney general could act.
Business groups jointed Facebook, Google, Amazon and others in opposing the bill. Sarah Boot of CalChamber (the California Chamber of Commerce) said it gives trial attorneys too many money-making opportunities via lawsuits and attorneys fees.
“Compliance with the CCPA should be the goal of any regulatory enforcement and having individual trial lawyers responsible for enforcement as is the case in SB 561 will not serve that goal,” she said.
In the meantime, these same business groups want to change some of the law and give it some exceptions. They are supporting legislation that would allow companies to sell the data from people who’ve opted out. That is illegal now.
Source link: Associated Press