SACRAMENTO — Nearly three months after Congress struck down new federal regulations that aimed to protect internet users from having their online activities secretly tracked and sold, state lawmakers are unveiling new legislation that would require companies to follow such rules in California.
The proposed rules — amended into an obscure bill about video arcades — would prevent broadband providers such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from collecting or selling such information unless customers “opt in” to policies, among other requirements.The move — which is sure to be fought by the internet giants — is the latest example of the California “Resistance” to Washington policies under the Trump administration, which now spans issues from immigration to environmental regulation to recreational weed.
The legislation, unveiled Monday morning, was prompted by an outcry from consumer-privacy groups and others over the decision to strike down Obama-era regulations by the Federal Communications Commission that were set to take effect this year.
Assembly Bill 375, by Assemblyman Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park, would affect broadband providers in the following ways:
- Prohibit providers from using “pay-for-privacy” arrangements.
- Force providers to allow consumers to “opt in” before the companies “use, disclose, sell or permit access to” their personal information, including browsing activities.
- Require the companies to use clear language in consent agreements.
The proposed rules — as with the recently overturned federal regulations — would not apply to companies like Google and Facebook, which broadband providers have argued is unfair. But consumer-privacy groups argue that broadband internet is like a utility, that consumers often do not have a choice in which company they use, and that providers have much broader access to a customer’s online activities — across apps and search engines.
Developing story — stay tuned for updates.
Published at Mon, 19 Jun 2017 17:30:34 +0000