Historic Privacy Bill Passes in California
Predictions rise as to what other states may do
On June 28, 2018, California lawmakers unanimously passed a new privacy bill that would give residents of the state more control over the information businesses collect on them and impose new penalties on businesses that don’t comply. It is the first law of its kind in the United States.
The so-called California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB 375) was introduced late last week by state assemblymember Ed Chau and state senator Robert Hertzberg, in a rush to defeat a stricter privacy-focused ballot initiative that had garnered more than 600,000 signatures from Californians. The group behind that initiative, Californians for Consumer Privacy, said it would withdraw it if the bill passed. The deadline to withdraw was Thursday, forcing the state legislature to fast-track the bill through the State Senate and Assembly and get it to Governor Jerry Brown's desk by the end of the day. The law takes effect in 2020; but, in some ways, Thursday's vote is only the beginning, as business interest groups work to tinker with the legislation's details before then.
In a statement to WIRED following landslide votes in both state houses, Hertzberg said, "Today the California Legislature made history by passing the most comprehensive privacy law in the country. We in California are continuing to push the envelope on technology and privacy issues by enacting robust consumer protections—without stifling innovation.”
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