California made strides to protect privacy last year with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This year, we want to make sure that the state has tools necessary to make sure it can enforce that law, and that everyone will be able to stand up for their own privacy without fear of discrimination.
That is why we are supporting both A.B. 1760 and S.B. 561: two essential bills to provide Californians with the privacy protection they want and deserve. We stand fully behind these bills and their authors, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson.
Wicks’ bill, A.B. 1760, would give California consumers the knowledge and protection to defend their privacy rights. It makes sure that they can learn which companies have received their personal information through a sale or other form of sharing. The bill also requires that all companies that share data, as well as those that sell it, get the consumer’s opt-in consent to do so.
This law helps people become aware of the myriad ways personal information is shared in the modern digital world. And it ensures that companies cannot punish people for exercising their right to privacy, by imposing a higher price or inferior service. No one should ever be punished for protecting their privacy, and privacy should not be a premium feature for those who can afford it.
Privacy legislation like A.B. 1760 has overwhelming public support. Recent polling from the American Civil Liberties Union found that 94 percent of Californians, across all demographics, want legislation with the protections A.B. 1760 provides.
We thank Assemblymember Wicks for her leadership in continuing to defend her bill, and standing up for Californians and their privacy, even in the face of heavy pushback from the technology industry. Ahead of A.B. 1760’s April 23 hearing before the Privacy Committee, however, the bill has had to undergo amendments. This included removing the private right of action—a right that 94 percent of Californians agree they should have.
That’s where S.B. 561 steps in. Sen. Jackson’s bill provides tools for the Attorney General’s Office to enforce the CCPA and hold companies accountable for their actions, and grants every person the right to take companies to court for violating their privacy rights. As EFF has said many times, the best way to hold companies accountable is to empower ordinary consumers to bring their own lawsuits against the companies that violate their privacy rights.
Sen. Jackson showed remarkable leadership by standing firm against critics to pass her bill out of a key committee, underscoring her commitment to giving the Attorney General and the people of California these crucial tools.
We support these complementary bills to give Californians the rights and power needed to stand up for their own privacy. Tell your lawmakers that it’s time for them to stand up for your privacy, too.