What would Proposition 24 do?
Change California’s data privacy law:
By letting you tell businesses to limit the use of sensitive data, such as your exact location, health information, race and religion
By prohibiting businesses from holding onto your data for longer than necessary
By allowing the government to fine companies up to $7,500 for violating children’s privacy rights
By creating a new state agency to enforce the privacy law, investigate violations and assess penalties
By reducing the number of businesses that have to comply, making it apply only to companies that buy or sell data of at least 100,000 households a year
Why am I voting on this?
San Francisco real estate developer Alastair Mactaggart began advocating for consumer privacy a few years ago, after a Google engineer he met at a dinner party told him Americans would be shocked by how much the company knows about us. Mactaggart successfully pushed the Legislature to pass a landmark data privacy law in 2018. Now he says it needs some changes, so he drove the effort to put Prop. 24 on the ballot.
The existing privacy law doesn’t have enough teeth. Updates in Prop. 24 would create a system to enforce the privacy law and triple fines on companies that violate kids’ privacy. They would give consumers more control over their most personal data, allow you to shield your precise location from tracking, and give you more ability to sue companies if your email and password are stolen or hacked. Passing this proposition will make it harder for lobbyists to change privacy laws in the Legislature.
California’s data privacy law is very new — it just went into effect this year — so we should see how it plays out before changing it. Some of the updates in Prop. 24 would hurt consumers — delaying a rule that allows workers to find out what information employers collect about them, making it easier for businesses to charge you more if you don’t let them sell your data, and allowing tech companies to grab your data when you leave California. This proposition is the pet project of one man, and lacks backing from a broad coalition of privacy advocates. In fact, some of them oppose it. (Tech companies are surprisingly quiet about this measure; the Internet Association and California Chamber of Commerce criticized it in a legislative hearing but have no formal position on it.)
Who's for it:
Alastair Mactaggart and his wife, Celine (creators of a group called Californians for Consumer Privacy)
Common Sense Media (a group that promotes safe use of media and technology for children)
Alice Huffman, president of the California NAACP
Rep. Ro Khanna, Democrat of Fremont
Who's against it:
American Civil Liberties Union
Consumer Federation of California
Dolores Huerta, labor organizer
The Orange County Register Editorial Board