California Passes Sweeping Law to Protect Online Privacy

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As reported in the New York Times on June 28, 2018:

SAN FRANCISCO — California has passed a digital privacy law granting consumers more control over and insight into the spread of their personal information online, creating one of the most significant regulations overseeing the data-collection practices of technology companies in the United States.

The bill raced through the State Legislature without opposition on Thursday and was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, just hours before a deadline to pull from the November ballot an initiative seeking even tougher oversight over technology companies.

The new law grants consumers the right to know what information companies are collecting about them, why they are collecting that data and with whom they are sharing it. It gives consumers the right to tell companies to delete their information as well as to not sell or share their data. Businesses must still give consumers who opt out the same quality of service.

It also makes it more difficult to share or sell data on children younger than 16.

The legislation, which goes into effect in January 2020, makes it easier for consumers to sue companies after a data breach. And it gives the state’s attorney general more authority to fine companies that don’t adhere to the new regulations.

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