New California Bill Would Strengthen Privacy Protections for Kids and Families Online and on Social Media

Common Sense Sponsors Legislation After Series of Significant Privacy Breaches Reveal Personal Information of Millions
Common Sense Media
Common Sense Kids Action
Friday, June 22, 2018

SACRAMENTO -- Common Sense applauds the California legislature for the introduction of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which would provide the state’s 40 million consumers with new protections and controls over their private information. The legislation was introduced today by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park).

Common Sense sponsored the bill as part of its advocacy for tech reforms that will lead to the digital well-being of kids and families. The personal information and private data of Americans have been exposed and our well-being, as well as the health of our democracy, have suffered as a result. This is the right first step toward ensuring that Americans have strong data privacy protections. The Legislature has until June 28 to pass the new legislation; if it fails to act, the public will instead vote on a privacy initiative on the November 2018 ballot.

The introduced bill, called the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, includes:

●   Notice: Guarantees consumers the right to know what data is being collected
●   Consent: Guarantees consumers the right to opt out of that data collection
●   Deletion: Guarantees consumers the right to delete all their private data
  Access: Guarantees consumers the rights to access, download, or transfer their data
●   Kids' Rights: Kids under 16 must opt in to consent to the sale of their data
●   Enforcement: The attorney general can levy fines, consumers can sue for breaches

Privacy activist Alastair MacTaggart and the organization Californians for Consumer Privacy sparked demand for the legislation by sponsoring a ballot initiative that spurred consumer, industry, kids, and privacy groups to negotiate a broad-based agreement to protect privacy. MacTaggart has collected more than enough signatures to qualify his initiative, but will pull it if the legislature acts by June 28. 

"Consumers’ right to privacy is being undermined and people deserve to own, control, and secure their personal information. That the legislature was willing to step up and ensure these protections is a testament to the democratic process," said MacTaggart.

"The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 guarantees that consumers will have tools to protect their personal information," said co-author Senator Robert Hertzberg. "We need forward-thinking regulations to protect consumers and to ensure technology in their home state continues to thrive. We are grateful to Mr. MacTaggart for his vision catalyzing this historic moment."

"Privacy is a fundamental American value," said co-author Assemblymember Ed Chau, chair of the state’s Assembly Privacy Committee. "That California is able to lead the nation into an era of consumer-first protections is a boon our democracy."

"When kids are online or on social media, it is absolutely vital that we ensure their privacy is protected," said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense, which has long supported increased privacy rights for students and families, and was a sponsor of SOPIPA, which protects the privacy rights of students in California. "This is a critical first step in ensuring the privacy of kids, families, and all consumers, and we’ll continue to fight to ensure there are strong data privacy regulations in place to protect Californians and all Americans."

About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.


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