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CEO DATELINE – Internet Association blasts process used to enact California data privacy law

July 5, 2018
By Walt Williams

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California recently enacted what many tech industry observers say is the strongest data privacy law in the U.S., but the Internet Association said the process used pass the legislation was flawed.

The new California law has similarities to the General Data Protection Regulation that recently went into effect in the European Union. Starting in 2020, California consumers will have the right to know what data is being collected about them and with which businesses that information is being shared, USA Today reported.

The law was rushed through the legislative process to prevent an even stricter law from being put before California voters in November through a state ballot initiative. The legislation was signed June 28 by Gov. Jerry Brown, a little more than a week after being introduced, according to the newspaper. The ballot initiative was largely funded by San Francisco-area real estate developer Alastair Mactaggart, who said he will now withdraw the measure.

In a statement, IA Vice President of State Government Affairs Robert Callahan said, “Maintaining people’s privacy and security has always been and remains a top priority of internet platforms.” However, he was critical about how quickly the law was enacted.

“Data regulation policy is complex and impacts every sector of the economy, including the internet industry,” Callahan said. “That makes the lack of public discussion and process surrounding this far-reaching bill even more concerning.”

Callahan added that going forward it is critical that “policymakers work to correct the inevitable, negative policy and compliance ramifications this last-minute deal will create for California’s consumers and businesses alike.”