A small group of politicians who two years ago forced Californian lawmakers to pass a data protection law is back – and this time they want a vote.
This time it is about tightening up the rules that his previous selective measure was able to transpose into law, despite the determined attempts of Internet giants such as Google and Facebook to assassinate him. In exchange for the adoption of the law, this electoral measure was abolished. It seems the troublemakers are still fighting for a referendum.
Most importantly, the recent proposals require the establishment of an agency to protect and enforce the new rights and to provide clear guidance to consumers and businesses. The California attorney general is currently in charge of law enforcement, and he said his office will begin enforcement in July.
But the titans of the technique are already on this date, arguing that the health crisis caused by the coronavirus means that they must be administered before January 2021 – two and a half years after the signing of the Californian law on consumer privacy – before they are forced to comply.
This push – which is only the last attempt by Silicon Valley’s mega-cities – which have huge databases of billions of people – to undermine the legislation that gives the Californians the right to access companies’ data and, above all, to demand that this data be deleted and not sold to third parties. The Californians are overwhelmingly in favour of a higher level of data protection.
Zuk will not like this.
The new offering adds additional rights, including the use and sale of confidential personal information such as health and financial information, racial or ethnic origin and precise geolocation. It will also triple the existing fines for companies caught violating the rules on child data (under 16 years of age) and will require a decision on the collection of such data.
Hey, remember the California State Data Protection Act? Big Tech tries to make a big hole.
The proposal also gives Californians the right to know when their information will be used to make fundamental decisions about them, such as obtaining a loan or a job offer. And this would require political organizations to disclose the similar data they use for their campaigns.
And if only to bring the technology giants from anger to total collapse, the new electoral measure will require a legislative amendment requiring a majority in the legislature, effectively eliminating their powerful lobbying powers and cutting off many different ways in which measures and their application in the political process can be blurred.
To vote in California, where voters can vote for policies proposed by groups outside Sacramentos political and legislative circles, more than 620,000 signatures of residents are required. The California Consumer Data Protection Organization claims to have more than 900,000 people.
This week’s announcement also indicates that in some recent polls, 88 percent of California’s 40 million voters will vote for this measure to extend existing privacy protection.
The big question now is whether history will repeat itself and whether the threat of a vote is sufficient for the legislator to promise to amend the existing law in exchange for the removal of the ballots from the negotiating table.
Last time it went straight to the bull’s-eye, and the vote took place a few hours before the deadline, after Sacramento had passed a new data protection law in record time. It has been argued that the adoption of a law through the traditional procedure offers more flexibility, as it can be adapted and modified at a later stage in order to adapt it to real needs.
This suggests that those who hide behind Californians to protect consumer privacy – especially their boss Alastar Maktaggart, a real estate developer – are not willing to make such a compromise this time.
In a letter he published in September, Mr. Maktaggart noted that some of the world’s largest companies are actively and clearly prioritizing the weakening of the CCPA, as they did in the Sacramento review process.
The proposal to create a new agency – which deprives the Attorney General of any political flexibility – and to introduce a ban on amendments all indicate that Maktaggart intends to conclude this work with a vote.
That is why we confidently foresee a massive campaign against ballots and possibly a second round of voting, financed by technical companies, aimed at water pollution, which is presented as the best alternative but does not offer any additional protection.
California is about to enter a crucial era in the struggle to protect privacy and control technical giants over our personal information. Take your popcorn. ®
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