Legislators block California data protection expansion

SC Magazine
Original Source
SC Magazie

This article originally appeared in SC Magazine on May 21, 2019.

California lawmakers Thursday blocked expansion of data privacy law handing a victory to the tech industry collection, storage and use of consumer information.

California lawmakers Thursday blocked expansion of data privacy law handing a victory to the tech industry collection, storage and use of consumer information.

The proposed expansion would have given customers the right to know what data companies were collecting from them as well as the right to delete and restrict the sell of information.

The states Attorney General Xavier Becerra along with privacy advocates have called on legislators to do more this year to provide the public a right to sue companies over violations of the law as well as to toughen how the state enforces its provisions.

“The truth of the matter is the tech world is such a behemoth at this point in time, they have so much money, they have really been driving this whole discussion,” said Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara, the bill’s author according to the AP.

Jackson later added there are so many aspects to this where violations could occur but that in those cases the attorney general could be the only entity that could bring a suit.

Chris Olson, CEO of The Media Trust, said the solution to the unchecked data ecosystem isn’t just more regulation and that legislators should consider the impact stricter laws could have on smaller developers down the line. 

“If you introduce more stringent requirements for companies, the likely unintended result will be for the largest companies to have an even greater advantage over the rest because they have deeper pockets to stay compliant,” Olson said. “Considering the long-term impact of new regulations is crucial here. App developers, who have helped to fuel the tech boom, but operate on thin or negative profit margins, will feel the impact of the law as will consumers, who have enjoyed accessing content for free.”

Olson added that in the event of a data breach of 15,000 consumers, the penalty of $450 per victim could amount to more than $6.4 million. A price larger companies could eat but could crush smaller developers.