Assemblymember Lowen​thal introduces bill to strengthen​ privacy safeguards

Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, 70th District, has introduced AB 1291, updating California’s laws governing data collection and privacy to include a broader definition of personal data and simplifying the disclosure process for consumers.
“Today, our personal data is everywhere– we share it when using mobile phone apps, search engines and websites like Facebook and Twitter. Companies buy and sell it for profit,” Lowenthal said. “As technology advances, so should our consumer protections.”
In 2003, the passage of SB 27 (Figueroa) provided Californians with the right to know how businesses share their personal information. Under existing law, consumers can ask a company what personal data they have collected, and how that data is shared. However, the requirements for reporting are limited to the information used for direct marketing purposes, such as postal mail, and telemarketing.
Privacy advocates contend that individuals have lost jobs and been denied mortgages when businesses share incorrect information. Companies have exposed sensitive health and sexual orientation information. Women have even been hurt or killed when cell providers or apps have shared location data with their abusers.
AB 1291 expands the definition of personal information to include sensitive data, such as location, buying habits, and sexual orientation. By modernizing the requirements, consumers 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.
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.
Lowenthal is the chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Select Committee on Ports. She is the vice chair of the Joint Committee on Emergency Management.

Source: Lowenthal’s office

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