California is popularly known as the state that laid the foundation of a stringent data privacy law in the U.S. With its historic amendment of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), some infosec pundits termed it as the boldest move by the people of California against the data mining heavyweight corporations.
It gave the citizens of the state the right to know what information companies collect about them online, get that data deleted, and, if required, opt-out of the sale of their personal information. However, in an act of further strengthen their data privacy protections, the voters of California have once again voted in favor of “Proposition 24,” which expands the existing data privacy law.
What is Proposition 24?
According to the advocates of Proposition 24, it expands the data privacy law and closes some of the loopholes that big businesses exploited to get around it. The new measure includes a three-fold increase in fines for companies that violate kids’ privacy or break laws on the collection and sale of children’s private information. A special annual budget of $10 million has also been allocated to establish a dedicated state agency that will specifically look after the enforcement of the new law.
All in favor
The adoption of the Proposition 24 was supported by Consumer Reports, Common Sense Media, Consumer Watchdog, and Alastair Mactaggart, a San Francisco-based real estate developer who has been voicing his support for the data privacy law since the 2018 law and has been pushing to update it.
The voting for the measure was held on November 4, 2020, which saw over 11 million voters pouring into the ballot booths. The ballot was counted on November 5, 2020, resulting in 56% of voters saying “Yes” to amending Proposition 24 into the existing CCPA.
Speaking on the approval of Proposition 24, Alastair Mactaggart said, “We will now be able to stop businesses from using our most intimate, most personal information — our health information, our religion, our sexual orientation, our race. Proposition 24 will put a floor under privacy. There will now be much, much more robust enforcement of the law”.
Stance of the critics
However, the amendment was not welcomed by all. It has been criticized by some privacy and consumer advocates like the Consumer Federation of California, who said it was not tough enough on big business and made concessions that did not fully benefit consumers. In a statement issued by the Federation, it stated, “We will continue to champion the privacy rights of Californians, work with our allies to reverse the harmful portions of Prop. 24, and oppose its adoption as a model for the nation.”