Privacy groups, online firms gird for battle over California online data-disclosure bill
Recently-filed 'Right to Know Act' would require firms to disclose data collection and data sharing habits
Internet companies and privacy advocates appear headed for a fight over a proposal to broaden California's so-called Shine the Light Law, which requires online companies to disclose to consumers how their personal information is used.
The so-called "Right to Know Act" (AB 1291) would also require online companies to give users access to any data compiled on them.
Privacy groups say the new bill would give consumers more visibility into the data collection and sharing habits of online companies they interact with. Some industry groups, however, contend that the proposal is too broad -- and is unworkable.
The new bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), would broaden the provisions of the 10-year-old Shine the Light Law, which requires disclosure of how personal consumer information is used and how it is shared for direct marketing purposes. Lowenthal's bill also requires that online companies provide consumers who ask with specific details on how their personal information is shared with data brokers, online advertisers and application vendors.
Under the proposed law, individual consumers could ask Internet companies like Google and Facebook once a year for a complete accounting of how their data is being collected and used.
The bill gives companies a safe harbor if they take adequate measures to anonymize consumer data before storing or sharing it. In addition, if an online company cannot reasonably link a data profile to a specific person, it would not be obligated to respond to a data disclosure request.
The Right to Know Act helps bring some transparency to how online companies collect and use consumer information, said Rainey Reitman, activism director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The EFF supports the proposed bill.
Most Internet users today are unaware of how much of their personal information is routinely gathered and shared by Internet companies, Reitman said. The proposed legislation would give consumers a view of that, she said.
The law imposes no restrictions on information collection, sharing or selling.
It would not require Internet companies to change current data collection, sharing, storage or security processes, Reitman said. In fact, the provisions contained in the bill are similar to data disclosure laws in Europe, laws that many American online firms must already comply with, she noted.
The bill also provides much flexibility to online firms, said Chris Conley, technology and civil liberties fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California.
For instance, instead of having to respond to individual data disclosure queries, an online firm could simply provide just-in-time notices to consumers. The notices could inform consumers of what data of theirs is being collected at a specific moment, and with whom it is being shared, he said.
- Franken presses Ford on location data collection practices
- Justices let stand appeals court decision on border searches of laptops
- California lawmakers move to bar state help to NSA
- Appeals court again nixes Google's bid to overturn Street View case
- Older Mac webcams can spy without activating warning light
- Update: Judge rules NSA spy efforts may be unconstitutional
- Perspective: Privacy concerns could keep Amazon delivery drones grounded
- NSA collects data from millions of cellphones daily
- Perspective: Curbing data use is key to reining in NSA
- Lavabit-DOJ dispute zeroes in on encryption key ownership
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Gov't Legislation/Regulation White Papers | Webcasts