California passes sweeping privacy protection law

Posted on FEB 18, 2019

A new California digital privacy law is believed to be the toughest across the United States.

California just passed a new digital privacy law that is believed to be the toughest in all of the United States. The law gives customers more insight into and control over the spread of their personal information across the internet.

"It's a step forward, and it should be appreciated as a step forward when it's been a long time since there were any steps," said Aleecia M. McDonald, an incoming assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University who specializes in privacy policy.
The legislation will go into effect in January 2020 and grant consumers the right to know what personal information companies are collecting on them, why they are collecting it, and the people and organizations they are sharing it with.

"This is a huge step forward to people all across the country dealing with this very challenging issue,"said State Senator Bob Hertzberg, a Democrat and one of the co-authors of the bill.

The legislation uses a November ballot initiative, funded by real estate developer Alastair Mactaggart, as a model. And although some believe that some lobbyists will use "cleanup bills" in the 18 months before the law takes effect to water it down, Mactaggart believes these fears are "overblown."

"Having gotten this right, it'll be very hard to take it away," he said. "They can't rewrite the law.