Editor’s Note: The version below has been updated from the original.
In response to growing concerns over Silicon Valley tech giants’ easy access to user data, California legislators have pitched a broad data privacy bill to protect the personal information of Californians. The bill follows on the heels of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which took effect in May this year.
Wired reports that according to state senator Robert Herzberg, the bill is designed to give Californians the basic rights to three things: “Tell me what you know about me. Stop selling it. Keep it safe.”
On Tuesday, lawmakers voted to pass the measure, AB375, out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to The Washington Post. By moving quickly, they hoped to head off a parallel effort to put the issue on the ballot for voters to decide in November.
“Lawmakers negotiated it with San Francisco housing developer Alastair Mactaggart, who spent millions of dollars to place the initiative on the ballot. He said he would pull the measure from the ballot if the bill is signed into law by the Thursday deadline to withdraw initiatives.”
The next step for the bill is to head to the Senate Appropriations Committee. According to The Washington Post, the full Assembly and Senate plan to vote on the bill Thursday.
If passed, the legislation would require businesses to create tools that inform Californians about the data companies have on them personally, how it is being used, and how it was collected. Businesses would also have to give users the ability to delete their data completely or opt-out of the selling of their data. And, the legislation would restrict the selling of data of users aged 16 and under. At the same time, the law would give users the right to use the services of the business even if they choose to exercise their data protections. It is unclear at this point what would happen to companies that do not comply with the new laws should the bill pass. Herzberg’s goal is for a bill like this to eventually be passed in all fifty states.
Not everyone is happy about the bill’s development. The Committee to Protect California Jobs claims that the legislation would cut off Californians from “convenient services.” The Associated Press points specifically to AT&T and Google as tech giants opposing the initiative.
Perhaps in order to quell consumers who are still angry over the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal from earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg has announced new Facebook features ahead of the legislation that would let users see which advertisers their information has interacted with, and allow them to delete the data. They can also turn off the ability for data to be collected in the future.
If passed, the bill would take effect in 2020.
Get the full story at Wired.