New CA Privacy Bill Purports to Protect Users from Being Tracked Online

October 5th, 2020 4:05 PM

The California state government is usually a cesspool of leftist ideas, but every once in a while, it tries to protect the rights of its citizens.

On Election Day, California residents will vote on Proposition 24, California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act of 2020 (CPRA), which is supposed to better protect personal information online, particularly “sensitive data such as Social Security numbers, race, religion, and health information,” Vox reported.

The bill appears to be aimed at protecting consumers’ right to privacy. The bill stated that “Consumers should know who is collecting their personal Information and that of their children, how It is being used, and to whom It is disclosed, so that they have the information necessary to exercise meaningful control over businesses' use of their personal information and that of their children.” 

CPRA would expand upon or amend a separate bill, the California Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (CCPA). The CPRA reportedly would require businesses to: “not share a consumer's personal information upon the consumer's request; provide consumers with an opt-out option for having their sensitive personal information, as defined in law, used or disclosed for advertising or marketing; obtain permission before collecting data from consumers who are younger than 16; obtain permission from a parent or guardian before collecting data from consumers who are younger than 13; and correct a consumer's inaccurate personal information upon the consumer's request,” according to Ballotpedia

But Big Tech has a history of looking for loopholes in privacy laws. For example, Europe began implementing a new privacy law in 2018, but “big tech companies have been able to effectively neuter the law by implementing half-measures and exploiting loopholes while enforcement lags,” Vox said. 

However, not everyone is on board with CPRA. The California Republican Party opposes the ballot measure, according to The Washington Post. Mary Stone Ross, a former lawyer for the Electronic Privacy Information Center who helped write the original CCPA, has a few concerns about this new legislation. “We can all agree there are awesome things that will move privacy forward, but hidden in the 52 pages are a lot of things that are going to move it backwards,” Ross said in a statement to The Post. The article went on to summarize, “she says even the language allowing for the CPRA to be modified could be used to harm future pro-privacy moves because it also stipulates amendments should give ‘attention to the impact on business and innovation.’” 

Although Big Tech companies may look for a way around California’s new privacy law, it appears as though the state is, at the very least, attempting to protect its citizens’ right to privacy. 

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