Los Angeles Times: Backers of California privacy ballot initiative submit petition signatures

May 3, 2018

Proponents of a measure that would require companies to disclose the data they collect from consumers have submitted signatures on petitions to qualify the initiative for the November ballot, paving the way for a heated battle over privacy. The initiative would require businesses to inform customers of what personal information they are gathering from them and give them the option to opt out of having that data sold or shared to third parties. It also would increase fines and penalties for companies that fail to protect the data against breaches.Rick Arney, co-author of the proposed California Consumer Privacy Act, said support for the measure widened when federal officials opened an investigation into how a data firm, Cambridge Analytica, accessed the personal information of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge to help elect President Trump.Amid the scandal, Facebook halted its financial contributions to the campaign opposing the measure. But a representative from the company still called it flawed.
Opponents, including tech giants Google and AT&T, argue that the initiative is too broad and unworkable. A similar but more narrow legislative proposal to implement privacy protections for consumers was shelved after heavy telecom industry lobbying last year. It has not been revived. 

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