Constitutional Expert Confirms that Future Amendments Can Only be Made in Furtherance of Privacy, and the Purpose will be Upheld by Courts

SACRAMENTO, CA — California Constitutional legal scholars, including David A. Carrillo, founding Executive Director of the California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law and editor of, wrote the following about Prop 24:

Proposition 24 defines minimum privacy protections and permits the legislature to increase them.

In 2018’s California Consumer Privacy Act the legislature enacted significant new consumer privacy protections. Proposition 24 will improve on that act by further increasing consumer privacy protection, and create a one-way ratchet: legislative amendments are permitted if they strengthen those protections even more. 

Such conditions on legislative amendments are a common initiative feature. The electorate can control (or entirely eliminate) the legislature’s ability to amend initiatives. California constitution article II, section 10(c) provides that the legislature “may amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective only when approved by the electors unless the initiative statute permits amendment or repeal without their approval.” That gives the electorate complete control over legislative amendments to citizen initiatives.

Proposition 24 permits legislative amendments if those “amendments are consistent with and further the purpose and intent” of the measure, which is “to further protect consumers’ rights, including the constitutional right of privacy.”

That allows the legislature to amend the measure — but only by increasing privacy protections. Courts will enforce the voters attached to the legislature’s amendatory powers, and generally legislative amendments consistent with the electorate’s expressed intent are permitted. Under that standard the legislature could for example amend Proposition 24 to add an opt-in regime, an expanded private right of action, or strengthen the law’s anti-discrimination features. Those amendments would be permitted because they are consistent with the measure’s conditions, Proposition 24 does not expressly bar them, and all would increase consumer protections and so are consistent with its intent.

The California Privacy Rights Act would: 

  1. Protect your most personal information, by allowing you to prevent businesses from using or sharing sensitive information about your health, finances, race ethnicity, and precise location;
  2. Safeguard young people, TRIPLING FINES for violations involving children’s information;
  3. Put new limits on companies’ collection and use of our personal information;
  4. Establish an enforcement arm—the California Privacy Protection Agency—to defend these rights and hold companies accountable, and extend enforcement including IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR NEGLIGENCE resulting in theft of consumers’ emails and passwords;
  5. MAKE IT MUCH HARDER TO WEAKEN PRIVACY in California in the future, by preventing special interests and politicians from undermining Californians’ privacy rights, while allowing the Legislature to amend the law to further the primary goal of strengthening consumer privacy to better protect you and your children, such as opt-in for use of data, further protections for uniquely vulnerable minors, and greater power for individuals to hold violators accountable.


About Californians for Consumer Privacy

Californians for Consumer Privacy sponsored the California Consumer Privacy Act to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. After the initiative qualified, the California State Legislature passed groundbreaking consumer privacy legislation (AB 375, Chau/Hertzberg) in June of 2018, which was signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown. Now the group is backing Prop 24, the California Privacy Rights Act on the 2020 ballot, to expand and enshrine privacy rights for all Californians.

Paid for by Yes on 24, Californians for Consumer Privacy
Committee major funding from Alastair Mactaggart