Bay Area News Group: California privacy measure’s backers submit signatures

May 3, 2018

The California Consumer Privacy Act’s backers have turned in 625,000 signatures in their effort to get the measure on the California ballot in November, they said Thursday.

The proposed initiative aims to allow consumers to see what personal information companies are collecting about them and ask the companies to stop selling that information, and also seeks to hold businesses accountable for data breaches.

“Today is a major step forward in our campaign, and an affirmation that California voters care deeply about the fundamental privacy protections provided in the California Consumer Privacy Act,” said Alastair Mactaggart, the San Francisco real estate developer who is bankrolling the measure. He has spent $1.65 million on the effort, according to filings with the California secretary of state.

The measure is opposed by companies such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and Google, which have all donated $200,000 each to fight the measure.

Facebook has also given $200,000 to the opposition. However, Facebook last month said it would leave the effort to fight the initiative.

“We took this step in order to focus our efforts on supporting reasonable privacy measures in California,” a company spokesman said in April, around the time Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was testifying to Congress about the company’s Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. The political data consulting firm’s accessing of up tens of millions of Facebook users’ information without their permission put the social media giant in the hot seat over privacy.

The measure, which needed 365,880 signatures to qualify, is also being opposed by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

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