Lowenthal privacy bill to become a two-year bill
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, announced this morning that AB 1291, the Right to Know Act, will become a two-year bill, delaying action until 2014.
“Californians don’t need to be persuaded that they should be able to ask a business what it knows about them and who it’s sharing that information with. But in the legislature, it has become clear that we still have our work cut out for us,” said Lowenthal. “I know my colleagues care deeply about privacy. I look forward to working in the coming months to educate them through informational hearings about the importance of transparency and consumer rights.”
Current law governing consumer notification was developed a decade ago and only applies to personal information used for direct marketing purposes such as telemarketing and mail. The Right to Know Act extends the transparency requirements to cover all data sharing, regardless of its use for marketing, and expands the definition of personal information to include sensitive data, such as location, buying habits, and sexual orientation. By modernizing the requirements, consumers would have a right to know not just how their basic information may have been used for junk mail, but also how it’s collected and shared with data brokers, advertisers, and others.
Lowenthal remains hopeful that the bill will eventually prevail. “There was a time when Americans couldn’t get a copy of their credit report,” said Lowenthal. “Now, all you have to do is ask, and one is provided free of charge. This hasn’t destroyed credit reporting agencies. And, the Right to Know Act isn’t going to destroy the internet.”
AB 1291 is currently held in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. As a two-year bill, it will be eligible for a vote in committee in January 2014. AB 1291 is sponsored by the ACLU of California, California NOW, California Public Interest Research Group, the Consumer Federation of California, and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
Assemblymember Lowenthal is the Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, the Legislative Women’s Caucus, the Select Committee on Ports; and the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Emergency Management. Ms. Lowenthal represents the 70th Assembly District, including Catalina Island, Long Beach, San Pedro, and Signal Hill.
CONTACT: Allison Ruff, (916) 319-2070