You might be asking should we not wait until Congress passes a Federal privacy law vs. us Californians voting for a law this November in the form of Prop 24? In this blog post we will tell you why we really need a State law here in California, and that Prop 24 is the best opportunity we have to finally get a comprehensive data protection and privacy law we deserve as Californians. Or you can simply watch this 1 minute below to get the answer!
Unfortunately, Congress has historically failed to act on privacy, since basically the dawn of the internet. Industry is too powerful for Washington to act and often thumbs their noses when called upon to testify and explain how they make money off your information.
Sacramento isn’t any better—that’s why it took the threat of an initiative in 2018, and another one now, to force real change.
We Would Welcome a Strong National Privacy Law
Our point is we should not wait for a miracle to happen. California has always been the trendsetter … we set the tone versus wait for something to happen in Washington. And Prop 24 is the most comprehensive privacy law in the nation that voters can adopt.
Our group, Californians for Consumer Privacy, would of course welcome a strong, effective national privacy law (but again, we are skeptical if something can come out of DC).
But No Preemption
However, if a federal law were to somehow pass, we believe any such law would not need to preempt California law.
For example, there are two other national privacy laws: Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which regulates banking privacy, and HIPAA, which regulates health care privacy. Both these laws allow states to pass laws that are more protective of consumer privacy in the areas they regulate—and California has done so in each case. These laws are said to be national ‘floors, not ceilings.’
Now, ask yourself: do all 50 states still have banks and hospitals? Right? The answer is clear: industry complaints that they could never comply with 50 different privacy laws, are just that—complaints. And mostly they’re complaining to Congress that they need a national law to preempt California, just so they can have something weak, with no teeth, to get around our state.
And remember: this is only a complaint of big businesses —this only affects companies doing business in multiple states. And why should privacy be different than other areas of the economy? States have different liquor, nursing, and doctor licensing requirements; different employment laws and building codes and bar closing hours. Businesses will survive just fine if state privacy laws vary slightly—and remember, it’s not like people want different things. Everyone just wants to be able to control their own information, and make sure it’s kept safe. It’s not like Texas or Illinois will randomly outlaw home-deliveries because of privacy concerns.
As Californians, let’s control our destiny and strive to have more privacy rights and be able to take control over our personal data. Let’s set the trend for privacy rights, like we do with other things like auto-emissions. Privacy in the digital age is too hard to ignore or wait for a miracle to happen in Washington DC.
Californians should be able to control our own destiny and our own personal data. Vote Yes on Prop 24 and the California Privacy Rights Act.