Media Alliance Statement on the Passage of AB 375

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Here is our statement on AB 375. Teaser. We don’t think it’s quite as great a development as some would have it.

While Media Alliance has been eager for the California Legislature to address online privacy, the June 28th passage of AB 375 was a rushed sellout deal to remove a much better privacy package from the hands of the voters.

Among other problems, the current language in AB 375 authorizes pay-for-privacy schemes where prices can go up for consumers who try to use the bill’s opt-out provisions to ask companies not to sell their data.

As far as we know, AB 375 is the first legislation in the country to affirmatively legalize new pay for privacy deals.

In addtion, while the ballot initiative would have provided Californians with set privacy-protective language that would have been difficult to change, today’s bill has no such guarantee, with numerous promises from the Legislature that they will sit down with the tech industry and negotiate revisions.

This means we could see very different terms by 2020 than what the ballot initiative’s author agreed to today.

Consumer privacy is too important to be left up to secretive back room deals after all the hoopla dies down. The voters might have done better, had they been given a chance.

We call on the Legislature to seriously address the bill’s many deficiencies with consumer privacy experts in a transparent and inclusive process that lets the 603,000 voters who wanted to have a say to have a seat at the table via community organizations.

 

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