California—providing its residents the right to privacy in its state constitution—has historically led the nation in consumer privacy. Today, California could take the lead again by passing into law the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB 375), a bill that alters the state’s privacy landscape. This bill would bring a much-needed expansion of consumer privacy protections by giving us more control over how our personal information is used and shared.
Among other things, AB 375 (full text) gives Californians:
- the right to know what information a business has collected about them
- the right to request that information collected about them be deleted or provided in a way that will allow them to transport the data in a usable format to another service or business
- the right to know when their personal information has been sold to third parties, to know what categories of third parties their data was sent and to opt out of any sale of their information to third parties (i.e. require websites to prominently display a button saying “Do Not Sell My Personal Information”)
- the right to not be discriminated against in services or pricing for exercising their privacy rights
- a limited ability to recover damages from a business when their information is exposed in a data breach
- the creation of funding to encourage robust enforcement of these rights
There’s a long way to go before the law would go into effect in 2020, and we recognize that it’s not perfect, but AB 375 would take a meaningful step towards providing the kinds of crucial protections that we need and demand. During a time with massive violations of public trust from Equifax to Facebook/Cambridge Analytica, California must take action to protect privacy for all Californians—which is why we are supporting this legislation.