ACLU Supports New California Bill to Ensure Privacy for All

New Bill Protects Privacy, Personal Safety, and Financial Security

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2019
Contact: Daisy Vieyra
dvieyra@acluca.org, 916-824-3266

SACRAMENTO – Today the ACLU of California joined a diverse coalition of privacy, civil rights, economic equity, and children’s advocacy organizations to announce support for AB 1760, Privacy for All, a bill introduced by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland). Privacy for All puts Californians in control of the personal information that companies collect and share about them. As the technology industry lobbies federal lawmakers to establish a weak consumer protection standard to undermine progress at the state level, California lawmakers recognize the importance of further strengthening the 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and properly protecting privacy, safety, and financial security in the digital world.

“It’s clear that we are a critical point for personal privacy in this nation and with Privacy for All, California is doing what really needs to be done to protect people’s privacy, safety, and financial security. Privacy is a civil and human right for all Californians. For far too long, tech companies have been able to play fast and loose with our personal information – and Cambridge Analytica, massive data breaches, and online discrimination have been the result,” says Nicole Ozer, Technology and Civil Liberties Director for the ACLU of California.

The Privacy for All bill includes the following important privacy and civil rights protections for Californians:

  • AB 1760 makes sure companies get permission from Californians before they share personal information and creates real accountability for companies that violate the law. It also closes holes in the CCPA that only apply to “sale” of personal information. (Companies like Facebook claim that they only “share,” rather than sell, personal information with other companies like Cambridge Analytica.)
  • AB 1760 makes sure companies tell Californians what personal information they share about them, who the information was shared with, and how it is used.
  • AB 1760 ensures that privacy is a right guaranteed to all – not just those who can afford it – by stopping companies from discriminating against people who exercise their privacy rights.

Today, advances in technology and drastic changes in business practices have outpaced the law. The impact on the privacy, safety and financial security of Californians has been real with disparate impacts on people of color, immigrants, and other vulnerable communities:

  • Facebook allowed advertisers on the platform to exclude Black and Latino community members from seeing information about housing, employment, and credit and Google ads for high paying jobs were shown disproportionately to men rather than women.
  • Major social media companies shared data that enabled surveillance of Black Lives Matter and immigrants’ rights activists.
  • Vulnerable women, children, and seniors have been targeted. Data brokers have compiled and sold lists of rape victims and seniors with dementia, putting them at increased risk of fraud and scams. Facebook was getting users as young as 13 to install an app to track their habits that gave the company access to everything their phone sent or received over the internet.

“It’s time to hold tech companies accountable to Californians and make sure our rights are being protected. Privacy for All forces the business of exploiting personal information out of the shadows and gives us power we need to protect our privacy, personal safety, and financial security in the digital age,” said Jake Snow, Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney for the ACLU of Northern California.

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Privacy for All (AB 1760) is supported by a diverse coalition of organizations that work every day to safeguard the rights, personal safety, and financial security of Californians: ACLU of California, Common Sense Kids Action, Consumer Reports, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access Humboldt, Asian Americans Advancing Justice -LA, CalPIRG, Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, Center for Digital Democracy, Center for Human Rights and Privacy, Center for Media Justice, Color Of Change, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Council on American-Islamic Relations – California, CreaTV, Digital Privacy Alliance, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Ella Baker Center, Fair Chance Project, Line Break Media, Media Alliance, Oakland Privacy, Pangea Legal Services, Purism, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Restore The Fourth, Secure Justice, The Greenlining Institute, TURN -The Utility Reform Network, X-Lab, and Youth Tech Health.