Lobbyists for the largest technology and telecommunication firms have only three days to prevent the California Consumer Privacy Act, a ballot initiative that would usher in the strongest consumer privacy standards in the country, from going before state voters this November.
The initiative allows consumers to opt out of the sale and collection of their personal data, and vastly expands the definition of personal information to include geolocation, biometrics, and browsing history. The initiative also allows consumers to pursue legal action for violations of the law.
The idea that Californians might gain sweeping new privacy rights has spooked Silicon Valley, internet service providers, and other industries that increasingly rely on data collection, leading to a lobbying push to defeat the initiative before it gains traction. Their best hope may be to convince the sponsors of the initiative, including San Francisco real estate developer Alastair Mactaggart, to pull the proposal in exchange for compromise privacy legislation, AB 375, which would achieve some of the same goals of the initiative. Lawmakers behind the legislation, led by State Assembly member Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park, and State Senator Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, have promised to swiftly pass their bill this week if sponsors withdraw CCPA.